ATHENS — What was long expected is now official: Jacob Eason, the starting quarterback when the 2017 Georgia football season began, is leaving the program.
Eason announced the news via his Twitter account on Friday afternoon. He did not name his destination, though the Seattle Times reported on Tuesday morning that multiple sources said he was expected to transfer to Washington. He is from Lake Stevens, Wash.
“Thank you UGA for an incredible two years. The memories and relationships I have made will truly last a lifetime,” Eason posted on his account. “I will miss suiting up in red and black, but Athens will always be a place I can call home.”
Eason would have to sit out this season if he transfers to another FBS school. He arrived at Georgia two years ago as a 5-star recruit, the team’s most heralded quarterback recruit in years, and started all but one game as a freshman in 2016. He started the 2017 season opener against Appalachian State, but sustained a left knee injury on the third series of the game. Freshman Jake Fromm replaced him and never relinquished the job.
Eason’s departure leaves Georgia with two scholarship quarterbacks on campus: Fromm, the SEC Freshman of the Year, and Justin Fields, a 5-star in-state quarterback who enrolled last week. There is also walk-on Stetson Bennett, who earned raves as a scout-team player this season, including his performance mimicking Baker Mayfield in practices before the Rose Bowl.
As a freshman, Eason threw for 2,430 yards, 16 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, completing 55.1 percent of his passes. He entered the season as the unquestioned starter.
But when he sprained his knee against Appalachian State, Fromm did such a good job replacing him that by the time Eason was cleared to return after missing three full games, Fromm remained the starter.
Eason finished this season with just 7 pass attempts, completing 4. He appeared to handle the situation well. Speaking before the Rose Bowl, Eason said he was just focused on finishing out the season, and spoke optimistically about the team’s successful season.
“Yeah, it’s different, but it’s still been one hell of a ride,” Eason said. “Being with the guys, being at the Rose Bowl, being in California, it’s been an awesome year.”