Jacob Eason chose to keep his commitment to UGA last month. When he did, it was big news.
His heralded official visit to UGA was followed by dual announcements that he was the 2015 Gatorade National Player of the Year and that he would keep his commitment to UGA.
What’s a little-known reason why that commitment stuck? Tony Eason, his father, shared that with DawgNation.
It wasn’t the choice of just quarterback teacher Jim Chaney as offensive coordinator, but the two-pronged staff additions of both Chaney and offensive line coach Sam Pittman which eventually re-sold the Eason family on UGA.
“The coordinator and, believe it or not, the O-line coach, they went hand-in-hand,” Tony Eason said.
Eason’s father rolled over several traits he liked about Chaney. He said Chaney’s old school “ball coach” ways reminded him of his own high school coach. He liked Chaney’s versatility and how his calls play to the strength of his personnel.
But Smart’s hiring of Pittman “nailed” it for the family.
“Pittman comes with the reputation as probably the best line coach in the United States right now in college football,” Tony Eason said. “In the last four years, his guys have given up 42 sacks. That’s a very important stat. People think (we) are just looking at quarterback development. You know what it all goes through the O-line. You don’t play good football if you don’t have a good O-line.”
The father of the nation’s top-rated quarterback also mentioned safety concerns when discussing Pittman.
“The best O-line coach coming to Georgia was huge,” Tony Eason said. “You look at what’s going on right now in football with concussions. You get three of four concussions and Jake is playing baseball. We don’t want that. He’s a football guy. Getting Pittman really put the nail in the coffin. After that, that was it. We were there. He was going to Georgia.”
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.