A report came out Wednesday night with insight on Jacob Eason’s potential interest in playing for Mark Richt in Miami. The individual quoted in that story was described as his personal quarterback coach. DawgNation learned on Thursday that the story in question certainly raised the eyebrows of Eason’s actual personal quarterback coach.
Lavelle Durant, who operates ldelitetraining.com, has worked with Eason for the last four years. He’s trained Eason 2-3 times per week in the off-season and 1-2 times a month during the season. That’s usually before every big game.
To be kind, the individual quoted in that report does not have anywhere near the same level of standing in Eason’s camp. Durant is a fan of quarterbacks with long hair. He thinks it is awesome how Eason lets his hair grow out during the season. He knows the family well enough to know that Jacob’s father, Tony Eason, hates seeing his son’s hair that long.
How does Durant describe what is going on with Eason? He said he spoke to him on Wednesday evening. With the Eason family laying low at this time, his perspective on the trip appears to be the best perspective into what that official visit is really all about.
His thoughts are important today as multiple reports come out that Eason will spend an extra night in Gainesville. His official visit to Florida was slated to end on Thursday, but Eason will now stay through Friday.
“He’s going out there basically to see if he can find another place that he’s comfortable in calling home in case things do not work out in his favor at Georgia,” Durant said. “He, of course, took the Florida trip before they named Kirby Smart as the new guy at UGA. He didn’t want to be at Georgia when or if they brought a Chip Kelly in. That doesn’t fit his style of play. He wants to see if Florida is a safe number two in case things do not work out at UGA.”
Does he feel Eason will have a legitimate interest in Mark Richt’s new team at Miami?
“I don’t see much wrong with him taking an official visit to Miami,” Durant said. “It’s definitely possible, but with them having a guy that they have in (4-star commitment) Jack Allison and (sophomore) Brad Kaaya being their young quarterback it is probably not high on his priority list. But I definitely couldn’t say that would be out of the question.”
How will Kirby Smart’s brand of football mesh with what Eason is looking for in college?
“I personally think it would fit,” Durant said. “There’s a lot of teams that I feel would fit Eason’s play. I can definitely see Jacob playing and fitting well in Kirby’s system. There are a lot of teams in the SEC who run that Pro-Style, but I can also see Eason playing well with Jim McElwain’s system at Florida and now the system that Mark Richt will have at Miami.”
Durant feels the Eason family is executing a plan in the wake of Richt’s firing at UGA.
“”I think they are basically trying to protect (Jacob) in the event that anything else happens at Georgia that they want to have a really good back-up plan,” he said.
Durant said he hasn’t spoken to Eason yet since he’s been on the Florida visit. The thought going into the trip was to see how well he would fit into what Florida tries to do offensively and how similar it was to what Mark Richt did for 15 seasons at UGA.
“Everyone loves Jim McElwain,” he said. “It is ‘Mack.’ I’m a fan myself. I am sure that he is having the time of his life down there and he’s sitting in that media room with the players and he’s learning and he’s finding interest in what they are talking about. I am sure of that, but I don’t know yet. Ask me Friday and then I will have a better answer.”
Durant said the individual quoted in the other report had never worked one-on-one with Eason in the past. He could only recall Eason going to a camp he conducted with about 40 other players along with a high school teammate. He did not believe the quarterback coach quoted in that article has done much personal training with Eason.
He does not know if Eason has any other official visits planned after the Florida trip. Durant feels that it would still take “something catastrophic” for Eason to not wind up at UGA. He said the Richt exit surprised the family. He said that Richt’s cross-country trip after the Auburn game led the Eason family to believe that he would be returning next season at UGA.
“Richt was some of the glue that held him and Georgia together,” Durant said. “So when that happened, it was really a shock to the family.”
Western Kentucky offensive coordinator Tyson Helton is a name that has popped up as a possible offensive coordinator for Smart at UGA. Durant can see him playing in that style, but he can see Eason under the center “a tad bit more” than what they do at Western Kentucky.
What does Eason want to do in college? He wants to go under center, make the drops and play with his back to the defense. He never did that at Lake Stevens High School. Even the kneel-downs in the “Victory” formation come out of the shotgun.
The exact fit? That’s a Power-I formation that involves the play-action pass and the use of the tight end. That’s the NFL model and facing an SEC defense every Saturday is the best breeding ground for a player with those goals.
Durant did not think that UGA has made any significant contact with Eason since Mark Richt was fired, but he wasn’t 100 percent sure about that.
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.