Last offseason, all the talk around Athens centered around the arrival of Jacob Eason. Perceived by many as the quarterback to resurrect the floundering Georgia passing attack, Eason had his fair share of highlights last season despite playing in the rugged SEC as a true freshman.

After splitting time with Greyson Lambert early in the season, once Eason seized control of the starting job he never looked back throwing for 2,430 yards, 16 touchdowns, and only eight touchdowns in leading UGA to an 8-5 record, which included a win over TCU in the Liberty Bowl.

While Eason may have the strongest arm in all of college football and arguably more potential than any player on the roster, many Georgia fans are eager to see what 2017 signee and early enrollee Jake Fromm can do in a Bulldog uniform. The fans aren’t alone, as head coach Kirby Smart was quick to note his incoming quarterback will be given an opportunity to play as a true freshman during Monday night’s Bulldogs Live radio show.

“I expect him to come out and compete like he’s trying to win it,” Smart said on the air. “I look at him no different than I did with Jacob Eason this time last year.”

Smart was also eager to praise Fromm’s leadership during the program.

“He’s coming in, highly regarded, a heralded recruit, but he’s very serious, very professional about his work,” Smart said. “He’s a great leader in the locker room. Guys in the locker room respect him, he’s got good arm strength and he’s a good decision-maker.”

Wherever subtle or not, Smart appeared to note that Fromm has some leadership qualities that the more experienced Eason does not yet possess.

“He’s got a little leadership to him that he’s not afraid to jump out there and tell guys where to line up, what to do, and get after it with a little fire,” Smart admitted. “I think that dynamic, Jacob sees that, and Jacob’s sitting there watching this young kid that comes in with a little more fire and brimstone that even he had. Plus, he’s coming in with Jacob there, and makes it a little bit different than (last season with) Greyson Lambert, who was the incumbent starter. I think Jake’s in a good place and I think he’s ready to go compete.”

Considering Smart’s comments, it will be interesting to see if Eason steps up his leadership skills with the team this spring and summer heading into fall camp. It seems quite clear Smart is challenging both his quarterbacks to make the most of the offseason competition leading into a season full of expectations in Athens.

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