The one-game verdict is in. It is a one spring game verdict at that.
Yet that hype machine is already pumping out sonnets for Jacob Eason. Will he be the next big thing? There is honestly too small of a sample size to legitimately forecast that.
But has he already made an impression on the recruiting trail? That answer is a resounding yes.
DawgNation has chatted with over a dozen recruits over the last few days to gauge the impact of Eason’s G-Day showing. Eason — who had the whole state buzzing on Sunday — created the same effect on potential recruits.
Nico Collins, the No. 1 player in Alabama, said he can already tell that the combination of Eason plus 2017 commitment Jake Fromm gives UGA a better quarterback future than any other school which is recruiting him. That carries an extra meaning for the nation’s No. 12 receiver.
Collins, who is rated No. 66 overall this year, said Ludacris was his favorite part of G-Day right up to the moment when Eason fired a perfect back-shoulder pass to Riley Ridley for a huge gain.
“I thought that was a really good throw,” Collins said. “Because the corner was all over the receiver and he just put it in the spot where only the receiver could get it. That was a big-time throw. It really impressed me.”
Collins felt Eason’s ability can be the difference in a recruit’s mind when choosing a school. Jeremiah Hollomon, another top target at receiver, also said the coolest moment for him was when Eason checked into the game.
“Eason was a big factor in having me name UGA as my leader,” Holloman said. “From seeing how he produced (at G-Day) was unbelievable.”
Holloman paid attention to the spike in crowd noise when No. 10 took the field. He knows Eason has a lot to learn, but he was impressed by how he was still able to make big plays in front of 93,000 fans. He felt the 6-foot-6 Eason already looked like a junior in college.
“I feel like he is definitely the future at Georgia,” he said “What was going through my mind was ‘Where are my shoulder pads?’ when I saw him throw it around.”
Trey Blount, another major UGA target at receiver, said Eason already looked like a future Top 5 NFL draft pick. What made him say that?
“His intelligence for the game and how he threw the ball,” Blount said. “If you were watching the game he threw one corner route and dropped it right in the bucket. Then the next series he came in and threw a deep route to Reggie Davis. When I say the defensive back was right here and all Reggie Davis had right there (gesturing) and he dropped in right there. You can’t say no to that. It is amazing.”
Blount also has UGA as his slight leader. He said that arm can lure big-time receivers to UGA.
“If you want a quarterback that can get you the ball in any situation,” Blount said. “If (the defensive back) is on you. If you are wide open. His deep ball is perfect. His underneath routes are perfect. He’s just a great quarterback.”
But the receivers weren’t the only ones paying attention. Andrew Thomas, the top offensive line prospect in Georgia, was also impressed. When Thomas heard the crowd roar when Eason entered the game, he didn’t know what was going on. He thought it might have been for rehabbing Heisman Trophy candidate Nick Chubb coming into the game.
“The new quarterback Jacob Eason is really good,” Thomas said. “We saw him in the spring game and it’s ridiculous. I met him, but that’s crazy. He can throw the ball really well.”
Eason is just one player. Football is also the ultimate team game. But can a rocket arm also make a difference for an elite lineman?
“It can,” Thomas said. “But it has to be a quarterback to enhance a program like that. I’m pretty sure he will attract a lot of recruits with this talent.”
It will be at least four to five months before Eason wins the starting job at UGA, but he’s already won over recruits on the trail.
Jacob Eason is unreal… ?
— Jeremiah Holloman (@Obey_Classics) April 17, 2016
— treymendous® (@trey_blount) April 16, 2016
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and 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. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite