Kirby Smart on whether or not he'd start QB Jacob Eason in the opener
Georgia enters the meat of the offseason with one of the more interesting position battles in the country, with three capable quarterbacks all vying for the nod under center after a heated spring competition.
Senior Greyson Lambert, junior Brice Ramsey, and true freshman Jacob Eason have all had their moments, and it’s likely that a decision isn’t made until the latter end of August. However, coach Kirby Smart may have provided a little extra insight on how the battle could play out this summer.
Earlier this week, Smart was a guest on the Paul Finebaum Show at the Regions Tradition Pro-Am golf tournament and was asked if he’d be willing to trust a rookie — in this case, Eason — with the offense right away come Week 1 of the 2016 season.
“I have no objections to him starting the first game,” Smart said, according to 247Sports. “I want the guy that gives us the best chance to win to start the first game. Whoever that is, that is 20-something practices from now, so we will know a lot more.”
Eason was the nation’s No. 2-ranked pro-style quarterback from the 2016 recruiting class, and his hype preceded him during the Bulldogs’ “G-Day” spring game last month when he recorded 244 yards and a touchdown.
Last season, Lambert tossed 12 touchdowns to just two interceptions, but completed under 50 percent of his pass attempts and didn’t record a TD when it came to third-down situations, ending the season with a 95.8 efficiency rating in those particular circumstances. Georgia finished with the SEC’s No. 10 yards-per-game average (185.1) and was No. 9 with just 14 total scores through the air.
“I spent a lot of time with him early on in the spring talking to him,” said Smart. “I wanted to make him aware that there was going to be a burden and an expectation on him he didn’t have to meet; there was no expectation for us. We wanted him to do the best job he could do each day and he has done a good job of focusing on that. He is at home right now training some more.”
Georgia opens with North Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta on September 3.