ATHENS — Kirby Smart appeared on an SEC media teleconference Monday, and the first question he got wasn’t about anything pertaining specifically to his 2017 team, but recruiting a quarterback for the Class of 2018.
That wasn’t totally unexpected. The long-term future of Georgia’s quarterback position is the source of a decent amount of angst.
While Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm are both young and talented, they’re also the only quarterbacks on scholarship right now. And Georgia has struck out on a number of 2018 targets, from 5-star Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) to 3-star dual-threat Jarren Williams (re-committed to Kentucky on Monday).
Eason is a rising sophomore and set to start a second straight year. Fromm is a true freshman. But with the graduate transfer of Brice Ramsey, the team only has walk-ons behind them.
The state of Georgia has produced three QB prospects with a 5-star rating for this cycle. Yet the top-heavy 5-star depth the Bulldogs have has caused them to look elsewhere, among other factors.
Eason and Fromm are both pro-style passers. The natural pitch would be to find the long-sought dual-threat prospect under center. Yet the resources extended to recruit the nation’s top overall prospect (Lawrence) was a factor in watching the nation’s top 2 dual-threats choose out-of-state schools.
Heard County’s Emory Jones committed to Ohio State before Lawrence chose Clemson. Harrison High’s Justin Fields also committed to Penn State before Lawrence made his decision.
Data compiled and maintained by 247Sports shows UGA has offered 19 quarterbacks for 2018. The Bulldogs need to sign two signal callers this year but do not currently have any prospects committed.
It’s a situation Smart acknowledged presents a need, but also an opportunity.
“Any program is earmarked by how they recruit quarterbacks and what quarterbacks they have on campus,” Smart said during the SEC teleconference on Monday. “Obviously we only have two scholarship quarterbacks on campus this fall, so we have a great need there. It’s a great situation to come into. When these guys arrive, Jacob will be entering his junior year and I think anytime you’ve got a situation like that, when they’re going to come in and compete for playing time it’s a great sell.
“So we’re casting the net far and wide, we’re combing the country for the best guys. Because I honestly think that’s the success and fall of many programs is based on quarterbacks.”
DawgNation staff writer Jeff Sentell contributed to this report.