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Are Jacob Eason (10) and Jake Fromm (11) battling for Georgia's starting QB job?

Is this Jacob Eason vs. Jake Fromm QB battle for real?

Cy Brown

Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant Georgia football news and takes every Monday through Friday.

A QB battle for the sake of QB battles

Count ESPN’s Edward Aschoff in the group of people — many of whom are probably reading this right now — who think Jake Fromm could beat out Jacob Eason for the Georgia starting quarterback gig.

No way Jacob Eason could lose his starting spot, right? The kid is a prodigy with All-American dreams. But after starting almost every game last season, he’s getting pushed a ton by early enrollee Jake Fromm. It’s great for Eason because he needs to be pushed and motivated more. Eason has all the arm talent, but his leadership has to improve and this is the kind of fire he needs lit under him.

But don’t think this is just for motivational means. No, coach Kirby Smart loves Fromm and there’s a feeling around the league that Fromm is good enough and dedicated enough to take this competition into the season … and maybe win it.

I’ve noticed a strange desire from some corners of the Georgia fan base to see Fromm beat out Eason, and, I’ll be honest, it just doesn’t make any sense to me. Both on the level of thinking it could happen and on the level that it would be good for UGA football. So, count me in the group who thinks there’s no way that will happen. Or, perhaps more correctly, count me in the group who thinks Fromm beating out Eason would be really bad for Georgia football.

The argument I’ve seen suggesting it could happen — aside from the fact that Fromm is a highly touted freshman QB with loads of potential — is Smart’s comments this spring saying Fromm and Eason had “a little competition going,” basically just tossing red meat out to UGA fans. But the fact he’s talking about it doesn’t convince me there’s a chance it’ll happen so much as I think it’s an attempt to motivate Eason. Smart is deliberate about pretty much everything he says to the media, only providing the info he wants to provide. This is just my opinion, but I think if there was actually a QB battle, he’d be more apt to keep his cards close to his chest and not play it up in the press.

But why is there more love for Fromm than Eason, an objectively good freshman quarterback last season, among some UGA fans? I think part of it is the desire just to see something happen. A quarterback battle is much more interesting than the alternative, a fairly good QB with a lot left to prove walking back into his spot.

Some reasons seem more aesthetic, though. Eason is from across the country in Washington state. Fromm is from Houston County. Eason is a prototype QB, seemingly destined for the NFL out of high school. He’s kind of like Matt Stafford, who many UGA fans still resent for not winning much to speak of, then jumping ship. Fromm is a shorter, scrappy type of player, more likely to spend four or five years as a Dawg, then attempt an unlikely NFL career for a player his size. He’s kind of like Aaron Murray, who many UGA fans still love because he wasn’t good enough to jump early to the NFL but still good enough to be extremely successful in Athens.

But we don’t know that Eason is going to jump early like Stafford. We don’t know that Fromm is going to have a few years as a really, really good SEC quarterback like Murray. Just like we don’t know, like I’ve seen so many fans suppose based on his actions in high school football, that Fromm is head and shoulders a better leader than Eason. They all may turn out true, but we don’t know right now.

What we do know is that as a freshman surrounded by a weak offensive line and an undependable receiving corp, Eason threw for more than 2,400 yards with a 2-1 TD-INT ratio. Those are the numbers of a really good freshman quarterback who appears to have a bright career ahead of him. Those are the numbers of a quarterback who won’t lose his job except for on the field.

Maybe Fromm does beat out Eason next season, but it won’t be before games are played. It is Eason’s job to lose more than Fromm’s to win. For Eason to lose it, he will have to put in some bad performances next season and lose some football games because of it. And that will mean Smart and Jim Chaney will have probably squandered one of the best QB talents to come to Athens in decades. Which also means you should not trust them to develop Fromm into a top-level quarterback.

Simply put: If Fromm is Georgia’s starting quarterback for a significant stretch next season, something has probably gone terribly wrong in Athens.

Gymdogs advance to NCAA Championships

Georgia gymnastics earned a berth in the NCAA Gymnastics Championships with a second-place finish in the Gainesville regional on Saturday.

“I’m really proud of our team,” Georgia coach Danna Durante said. “We started strong on vault and just kept that momentum going. I’m proud of the way we fought hard on beam, especially with Florida on floor, we knew that it was going to be really loud. I’m excited that we just kept clicking and excited for this team. It’s been a long year for us with injuries and illness, and we just keep coming back and keep bouncing back. We’ve got two more weeks of training and we’ll get to St. Louis.”

ICYMI

Good dog

These dogs aren’t good at walks.