If one judges by his press coverage over the past eight months, Jacob Eason is either the greatest quarterback to ever don cleats or the biggest bust in the history of sports. You have to love sports media in the Age of the GOAT (Greatest of All Time). Every hyped high school player is expected to immediately transform his college of choice or risk being exposed as a bust. In fact, Eason is learning how to play quarterback at the highest level of college football and is making substantial progress, according to Kirby Smart.
Smart talked about Eason progress in his Tuesday press conference (beginning at the 36-second mark of the video below):
“We are advancing along some in the passing game, trying to use some different formations…things that Jacob can handle now. Being able to open things up to run the ball as well as throw the ball and give him some options to check into and out of things. I think that always helps when you get a certain look, and you like that look to run a certain play in. If a guy can get you in the right play, that helps. He is more comfortable doing that now than he was at the end of the year last year.”
“He’s got a long way to go, but he has come a long way. He understands the protections now, whereas last year there were times that he did and times that he didn’t. He’s got a lot on his plate. I mean, to manage that offense, it’s challenging coming straight from high school. I think that he is in a better place, he’s more confident, he’s throwing the ball good, and the wideouts are catching it. I still think we’ve got a way to go at wideout to get where we need to go, but Jacob helps those guys out by putting the ball in tight spots.”
I still contend that as Sam Pittman recruits and trains a championship level offensive line, the conventional wisdom on Eason will change from underperformer to can’t-miss pro quarterback prospect and Jim Chaney will become an offensive genius. There is a reason that Chaney wanted Pittman with him at UGA.