ATHENS — Everybody in the Bulldog Nation was excited about Jacob Eason’s decision to stick with his pledge to come to Georgia. But that decision impacts no one person more than it does Greyson Lambert.
As the Bulldogs’ incumbent starting quarterback, it will be Lambert who will be locked in head-to-head competition with Eason from the moment he steps onto campus until Georgia opens the season against North Carolina on Sept. 3 in the Georgia Dome.
“Well, I mean, no matter where you go or what year it is, there’s always going to be competition,” said Lambert, a fourth-year junior and first-year transfer at Georgia. “There’s competition everywhere. I’ve been in a QB competition all four years of my college career. And so it’s really nothing new. I’m looking forward to competing.”
Brice Ramsey, a rising junior, will also be involved in that competition. But it’s Lambert’s job to lose — or keep.
In his first season since transferring to UGA from Virginia on July 13, Lambert has not had what would be described as a dynamic year — outside the South Carolina game. In that Sept. 19th game against the Gamecocks, Lambert set an NCAA record for completion percentage as he went 24-of-25 in a 52-20 victory.
But the rest of his season would have to be described as pedestrian. He went 9-2 while starting 11 of Georgia’s 12 games and completed 64.4 percent of his passes and threw only two interceptions. But his completions went for only 1,844 yards and 11 touchdowns.
“I definitely needed to be more consistent,” Lambert said. “I felt like if you compare it to my last season at Virginia, I made some improvements. But it was not good enough to get us where we wanted to be this year.”
It was good enough, however, for interim head coach Bryan McClendon to declare him Wednesday as the starter for the Jan. 2 TaxSlayer Bowl game against Penn State.
“The quarterback situation is what it is,” McClendon said at the Bulldogs’ media day gathering. “Right now Greyson is starting and Brice (Ramsey) is right there backing him up. That part of it hasn’t changed.”
McClendon did add that quarterbacks, “just like any other position,” can earn more playing time based on the way they practice.
As for the future, Lambert said he has not yet met new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney. Chaney met with Eason on the same day he was hired by new coach Kirby Smart this past Saturday. He was flown directly from Pittsburgh to Athens just to meet the 5-star prospect, who at that point had not reaffirmed his commitment to the Bulldogs.
But Lambert said he does know Chaney and was happy to hear about his appointment. The two met when he was being recruited by Tennessee in 2011.
“I went and did a workout for him,” he said. “I remember liking him. I remember liking the system that they ran. But that was five or six years ago.”