Jacob Eason started his first game as a freshman back in 2012 for Washington’s Lake Stevens High School. He got hurt that game but saw what it is like as the talented kid trying to earn playing time at the toughest position on the field.
When the 5-star prospect arrives at UGA in January, he will be presented with that scenario at the college level. The degree of difficulty is tremendous for any first-year quarterback in the SEC, but that won’t dim the expectations.
Eason hasn’t finished his senior season. His Vikings are in the state semifinals on Friday. But when he does enroll early at UGA, there will have been very few incoming freshmen that matched the fanfare and hype of his arrival.
Herschel Walker was huge for the Bulldogs. So were UGA mega-recruits like Garrison Hearst, Eric Zeier, Matthew Stafford and A.J. Green. Yet none of those guys arrived at UGA with the way recruiting is covered now. There’s a constant news cycle powered by social media.
How will he handle those expectations?
“I am just going to do my thing and see where it goes and see where God takes me,” Eason told DawgNation. “I am going to work my hardest and whatever happens happens.”
UGA senior offensive lineman John Theus has already spoken up about the need for DawgNation to lower its Eason expectations. The learning curve at such a demanding position will be steep.
That said, Eason has the goods. He’s rated as the nation’s No. 2 quarterback per the 247sports composite rankings. The opposing team said after Eason’s latest game that he was “making throws NFL quarterbacks” complete.
Even though UGA has struggled mightily this season, Eason still feels good about the program. He was clearly impressed by Mark Richt’s recent cross-country trip to see him during a game week.
“It meant a lot,” Eason said. “It was his first time coming up to Washington by himself. … He surprised me. Georgia is struggling a little bit this year. Every team is going to struggle, but it just meant a lot that their coach would come up.”
Eason turned 18 last week. He got an electric shaver and sounds like he has an eye on a potential Christmas gift.
“Hoping to get a pair of cowboy boots soon,” Eason said. “For Georgia.”
The guy wants a pair of cowboy boots for his move to UGA. How can it be made any clearer that he’s on his way?
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.