Should DawgNation be worried about 5-star quarterback Jacob Eason? Does anyone really know? The Eason family has naturally shut off their phones since word came down Mark Richt was fired at UGA.
Eason is on an official visit to Florida this week through Thursday. That leaves a lot of blanks. Tom Tri, his head coach at Lake Stevens High School in Washington, can fill in a few of those.
“Tell those folks in Georgia to put the razor blades away,” Tri told DawgNation. “He’s a Georgia Bulldog right now and once the school gets their new head coach in place and Jacob and his family get to meet him, I don’t really see him wavering too much.”
According to Tri, Eason had a rough weekend. On Saturday, his Vikings lost in the state semifinals on the last play of the game. Then he got the news about Richt on Sunday. He said the Eason family shut off their phones and went off to a retreat on Sunday for some family time.
Eason’s coach feels Washington had a much better shot at Eason than Florida. He said the trip came together quickly. When the two spoke on Monday, his quarterback didn’t even mention it.
“Of course I could put my foot in my mouth as he commits to Florida but I’d highly doubt that,” Tri said. “I think Jacob is just keeping his options open now. He wants to wait this out and see what’s going on at another school before he firmly commits again to Georgia.”
Tri hasn’t talked to Eason and his family about any other official visits. He wasn’t aware of any more he has planned, but it doesn’t mean there will not be a couple more.
He said the Florida trip came via a relationship with Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. Nussmeier knows Jacob’s father Tony Eason from when he was the offensive coordinator at Michigan. That’s before Eason had his first offer.
“In all honesty Jacob is one of the most loyal guys I’ve ever met,” Tri said. “He had (Washington State head coach) Mike Leach sitting here yesterday now in my office pawing all over him and he was strong. He said ‘I’m a Georgia commit’ and they were asking if he would take an official visit and he said he had to talk to his Dad. He’s a loyal kid. I know he’s in Florida now and that’s one of the biggest rivals for Georgia. That is the rivalry. I get it. But he’s a pretty loyal kid. He’s been wearing the red and black around here for the last year-and-half and I don’t see that changing a whole lot unless he absolutely falls in love with somewhere else.”
Tri said Eason has never talked about Florida with him.
“Not at all,” Tri said.
Tri dismissed Michigan and Notre Dame as other landing spots for Eason. He could only see him showing interest in Cal, Washington or UCLA. He felt a Pac-12 school would have a better shot at Eason than Alabama, Florida or even Florida State.
“At the start of the season, UCLA was definitely second or third for him,” Tri said. “It was Georgia by far and away in first place and then a distant — I mean a really distant — second and third would have been Washington and UCLA. Cal then got into the picture when Tony Franklin came up. But it would be pick-a-straw between Cal, Washington and UCLA as the distant second to Georgia.”
How would he describe UGA’s current standing with Eason?
“From what I know, Jacob and his family are in wait-and-see mode with Georgia,” Tri said. “He’s waiting to see if Georgia hires someone. It doesn’t have to be right away but somewhere in the near future. He’s still committed to Georgia, but he just doesn’t know who the new coach is going to be. He’s in a sit-and-wait status, but at the same time he wants to keep his options open.”
That’s an important point. Eason enrolls early in January.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.