Since quarterback Jacob Eason stepped on campus, the overall question surrounding him is will he be as great a player in college as he was in high school. The 2015 Gatorade Player of the Year came to Athens with a lot of hype and a big target on his back.
The last time Georgia had a quarterback like this, as highly touted by the recruiting services, was Matthew Stafford and before that, Eric Zeier. So it has been a while since this much hype surrounded a quarterback. Most people compare him to Stafford, and occasionally Zeier; but with Eason’s growing in confidence, he is already in a league of his own.
When quarterback Eric Zeier was a freshman in 1991, he threw for 159-out-of-286 passes for 1,984 yards. He had a completion rate of 55.6 percent. Zeier threw for seven touchdowns and four interceptions in 11 games. In 2006, when Matthew Stafford was a freshman he threw for 135-out-of-256 passes for 1,749 yards. Stafford had a completion rate of 52.7 percent. He threw for seven touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 13 games. These were among two of the best quarterbacks in Georgia’s history, but as the numbers indicate, they struggled as true freshmen.
However, Eason has surpassed those numbers already. Eason has completed 178-out-of-322 passes for a 55.3 completion rating. He has already thrown for 2,127 yards and 13 touchdowns to just six interceptions. Eason still has two more games to play, one more regular season match-up against Georgia Tech on Saturday and most likely a post-season bowl game. He has already shown he is possibly one the best quarterbacks to start as a true freshman in Georgia’s history.
During Kirby Smart’s press conference on Monday, Eason’s progress came up, and Smart seemed proud of his quarterback.
“I just think he’s more confident, I mean he can tell you at the beginning of the year what that first, second, and third read was. But him being comfortable with figuring out where I go when I go and patience in the pocket, not to get happy feet and not try to abort the pocket and stay in a clean pocket when it’s there. He’s growing in that regards, and that’s just a confidence factor, and I think the more confident he gets he can get to that second, third option sometimes. The more he does that, the better he makes our total unit,” Smart said.