The hot debate among Georgia fans this offseason has been, should Kirby Smart start the season with true freshman Jacob Eason at quarterback? Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus says, yes.
There’s a common misconception that inexperience automatically means that a quarterback is going to struggle. However, when you look at the true freshman quarterbacks who saw significant time a year ago, that’s not always true. In fact, six of the 16 true freshmen to play 310 or more snaps in 2015 finished the season with a positive grade. Four of them, Washington’s Jake Browning (+21.6), Boise State’s Brett Rypien (+17.9), UCLA’s Josh Rosen (+16.9) and Baylor’s Jarrett Stidham (+16.0), finished the season grading within the top 42 quarterbacks in the nation.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of a five-star freshman quarterback, but the Georgia Bulldogs want to compete in the SEC once again in 2016. With Nick Chubb expected to be back in time for the season beginning, and Sony Michel a very good option if he isn’t quite ready, Georgia don’t need a quarterback to win them games week-in, week-out. What they need is someone who can avoid mistakes and occasionally make a big throw to keep the defense honest. Even as a true freshman, that quarterback looks to be Jacob Eason.