It seems the more we find out about Bailey Hockman, the more it seems he’ll be able to command respect in every huddle he will ever step into.
The McEachern junior told the AJC this summer why he didn’t cringe at the thought of following 5-star passer Jacob Eason to Athens. He wasn’t worried about being buried on the depth chart or having to compete. Those challenges would make him better.
Now here’s a little more insight into how the left-hander fared at Dawg Night. Eason led off the quarterback drills, was followed by Hockman and then Cartersville’s Trevor Lawrence. The first two already had UGA offers, and Lawrence earned his within 48 hours of his performance that night. Lawrence has since been rated as a 5-star recruit and the nation’s No. 1 prospect for 2018.
Lawrence was consistent especially to just be the rising sophomore in that trio. Eason and Hockman had their moments, but weren’t at their best. Hockman even told UGAsports.com’s Anthony Dasher he had a rocky start.
We never heard the first excuse, but his father Kyle Hockman shared why he his son might have been a tad off at that all-star prospect camp.
“He tweaked a hip flexor on his first drop,” his father said. “So he was trying to figure out how to throw without much of a push on his throws. He couldn’t land right at all. He was trying to figure out a new way to throw in spite of it.”
Hockman — who is also the head coach at McEachern — noticed his mechanics were off.
“I asked him if he was alright in the middle of it,” Kyle Hockman said. “I could tell he was barely getting five yards of a drop on his five-step drop. I told him to tell the coaches about it and stop throwing with it bothering him then.”
The son wanted no part of that.
“He said there was no way he was going to pull out,” Kyle Hockman said. “He said ‘I don’t want anyone to think I’m scared to compete.’ He said he was not doing that. Bailey doesn’t care what other people think. He didn’t care what everyone watching him thought he was throwing like. He was just going to do the best he could in that situation.”
Hockman was limited in summer workouts for the next two-to-three weeks after that showing, but he’s ready for Saturday night’s opener against Tucker at the Georgia Dome.
Watch the left-hander’s stats this year. We’ve got it on good authority Hockman will have to cut those long flowing “Sunshine” QB locks this year if he ever throws two interceptions in a game.
Hockman knew what a Cover 2 was and could read the safeties when he was still in elementary school. That’s a pretty experienced football mind that’s committed to UGA for 2017.
It’s pretty clear he’s got his share of guts and moxie, too.
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.