Five-star QB Jacob Eason talks Florida, Georgia
Jacob Eason is a wanted man.
The recruiting battle for the nation’s No. 1 quarterback (according to Rivals) has heated up, with Georgia and Florida fighting to sign him.
Eason committed to Georgia in July 2014, and was firm in his commitment until recently. But since UGA head coach Mark Richt was fired on Nov. 29, Eason has been reconsidering his options.
Richt’s firing was part of a difficult weekend for Eason. His high school career ended that same weekend, when his Lake Stevens (Wash.) team lost in the state semifinals.
“Sunday I was getting over the game and all that stuff. Saturday night was kind of rough,” Eason told The Herald. “Then I wake up Sunday morning to a text from Ben Cleveland — he’s a Georgia commit too, he’s a left tackle — saying, ‘Did you hear the news about Richt?’ I thought he was joking and then he sent me a picture saying he got let go at Georgia. I didn’t really know what to think then. I was like, ‘Woah. This is my future. I’d been committed there like 18 months, so what am I going to do now?'”
What he has done is look at other schools. Two days after Richt was fired, Eason was on a plane to Gainesville, Fla. to visit the Florida Gators. Florida head coach Jim McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier both have connections to Eason’s home state of Washington.
“I knew Florida was a pretty good option because Coach Nuss and Coach Mac both are from around here,” Eason said. “So I set up a trip there to go check that out and ended up really liking it. There’s a lot of good things. Coach Nuss coached at U-Dub (Washington) and Coach Mac graduated from Eastern Washington, and they’ve both got good track records. There’s a lot of good things I got out of that trip.”
For now, Eason remains committed to Georgia. But Florida is right in the mix.
“Right now, I’m still committed to Georgia,” Eason said. “I took my trip to Florida and I’m still waiting to see who Georgia hires as (offensive coordinator). I have a couple options opened, but I’m still committed, so we’ll see what happens.”
Georgia hired Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart as its new head coach on Sunday, and Smart has made it clear that he wants Eason to be his quarterback. Shortly after being hired, Smart called Eason on the phone. On Monday, Smart climbed on a plane and flew to Washington to meet Eason in person.
“He seems like a great guy over the phone,” Eason said. “He’s coming out tonight actually. I’m going to meet him in person, and then I’m going to fly out there Friday and see what they’ve got going on. He seems like a really good guy over the phone. He’s going to try to get the best situation possible at Georgia. We’ll see how it goes.”
Eason will make his official visit to Georgia this weekend. Then he’ll decide which school he wants to attend.
“I’m still committed (to Georgia) but I’m going to have to decide between the two. The positives and negatives and all that stuff,” Eason said. “Over this year, with Coach Richt getting fired and all that stuff, (Florida) kind of popped up. The coaches have been wanting me to come down for awhile, so I came down and I liked it a lot. It’s a great school and a great opportunity there, too. It’s going to come down, ultimately, to what I decide and where I feel comfortable.
“I’ll come home and talk with my family and my dad, and figure everything out.”
This season, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Eason passed for 3,585 yards and 43 touchdowns. He led Lake Stevens to a 12-1 record and a trip to the state semifinals.