There are two things we can be certain of after Jacob Eason, the reported walk-across-water recruit, reaffirmed Tuesday that he is going to play football for Georgia.
• New coach Kirby Smart did a good job selling himself and his vision for the future in Athens after the firing of coach Mark Richt.
• Absolutely nothing else.
Eason, a quarterback from Washington state, has been labeled The Next Great Thing by recruiting websites, which I go to great lengths to avoid because I find obsessing over the decisions of 17- and 18-year-olds to be a little creepy. Also, I have a life. But every major college program wanted Eason so that says something about the young man’s talent and potential.
Because of Georgia’s significant quarterback problems this season, Eason has a good chance to start as a true freshman. He will have two great running backs (Nick Chubb and Sony Michel) to hand off the ball to and likely a pretty good offensive line. But true freshmen quarterbacks, as a general rule, struggle out of the gate and expectations should be kept in check.
I also think that anybody who suggests Eason’s tenure will define the success or failure of Georgia football under Smart would be making a mistake. Smart and his coaching staff, including new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and line coach Sam Pittman, will succeed or fail on their own. This is about a new start and direction for a program. It’s not about one player, one game, one season or one recruiting class.
Georgia has had tremendously talented rosters in the past and not won to the degree some people projected, just as they’ve achieved success in some games and seasons when there were deficiencies. Alabama doesn’t have a chance to play for another national championship because it has a great quarterback (it doesn’t). It wins because of everything surrounding the quarterback, primarily a structure, direction and identity that coach Nick Saban brought.
If the Bulldogs reach a level of success next season and beyond, it will because of Smart’s direction first and everything else (including Eason) second.
But this much we know: Eason is buying whatever Smart is selling.
More on Eason:
- The 5-star QB said he might still be scrambling if not for this
- Kirby Smart and other UGA staffers react to Eason’s decision
- Why Eason should be ‘QB1’ from day one at UGA
- Eason reaffirmed his commitment and also received some good news of his own
- Is Eason really worth all of the hype?
- Overreaction Monday: Falcons’ problems are between their ears
- Matt Ryan and Kyle Shanahan need to figure out their problems
- Contenders valued Heyward far more than Braves
- Bethancourt, a cautionary tale about prospects, dealt to Padres
- McCoy calls out Falcons’ defense for ‘jogging’ — and he’s right
- John Coppolella begins to make amends with Miller trade
- Kirby Smart’s big task is making Georgia believe it can be great
- Falcons season goes from fantasy to nightmare
- Short takes: Playoffs?!? Falcons look dead in that department
- Georgia’s hiring of Kirby Smart looks good by comparison
- If Alabama’s defense is a sign, Kirby Smart looks ready to be a head coach
- Short takes: defense, running game could carry Alabama to national title
- Here’s hoping Mark Richt is doing this for right reasons
- Weekend Predictions: Alabama restores order after a wacky week
- Blog: Miami makes a great hire; did Richt make a great decision?
- On Kirby Smart, coordinators, loud but effective strength coach (video)
- Kirby Smart hire makes sense for Georgia, even if wow factor lacking
- Richt will enjoy quiet for first time, may be done coaching
- Greg McGarity’s career will be defined by first major hire
- Falcons have a problem, and surprisingly it’s their quarterback
- Richt’s firing confirms what many believed: It was time for a change
- McGarity mum on Richt, and Georgia’s win doesn’t feel like a celebration
- Short takes on Georgia’s win
- Johnson, Bobinski confident about Tech’s future
- Weekend Predictions: Dogs over Jackets in Bad Aura Bowl
- A new tradition, in the spirit of Furman Bisher: Giving thanks (to those who deserve it)
- Overreaction Monday: Richt’s status, Ryan’s fall, and does Tech have a chance?
- Georgia Tech loses Justin Thomas, ball and all hope