I started this blog a little over a year ago, and one of the first football topics was “Who is Going to Play Quarterback.” Well here we are a year later, and while there is a new coach and a new 5 Star quarterback we still don’t know who will take the first snap against North Carolina. At this time last year, I was cautiously optimistic about Georgia football. Looking back now, I realize that during most of the Mark Richt Era my optimism could be classified as a “false front”. I tried to see the glass as half full, but I never really believed it. I would talk a big game about how Georgia could win, but in many cases I knew I was I kidding myself. In my gut, I always knew Georgia would lose the big game or falter at the wrong time. So here I am again, feeling good about the season, but I can honestly say it is a more confident optimism. I don’t expect Georgia to go undefeated or anything, but I do believe good things are on the way.
All that being said, there are still a lot questions going into the season. In fact, there are probably more concerns heading into to this season than last year. For example, the defensive line is not very deep, Nick Chubb is coming off a bad knee injury, Sony Michel has a broken arm, and there is an entire new coaching staff. Most importantly, we still don’t really know who will play quarterback. So let’s take another look at the quarterbacks and speculate as to who will play.
First of all, I think it is fair to say that Brice Ramsey is not going to start. No offense to Brice, but if he couldn’t win it last year than he is not going to win it this year. So that leaves us with Greyson Lambert and Jacob Eason. By now, all Dawg fans know about Jacob Eason. He is a highly touted recruit from Washington State, and many fans are ready to proclaim him the starter. Jacob had a pretty good spring game in April, and all the fans fell in love. He is without a doubt a very talented young man, but he sure is young. On the other hand, there is Greyson Lambert. Greyson did a solid job last year, but he really didn’t do anything spectacular after the South Carolina game, but what a game it was. Greyson completed 24 of 25 passes for 330 yards. He also set a NCAA record for completion percentage with 20 complete passes in a row. I remember thinking that Georgia had found its quarterback after that game, but he never really returned to that form last season. Subsequently, Georgia lost badly to Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida. And now Mark Richt is down in Miami, and Kirby Smart is in charge. However, this is not Greyson’s fault. Last year he managed games fairly well and made good decisions, but he lacked big play ability. In Lambert’s defense, the entire offense seemed to struggle at times last year, and that could easily be attributed to coaching or injuries. Now it seems all the fans are ready to push Lambert aside, and anoint Eason the new king. But as Lee Corso often says, “not so fast my friend.” Jacob Eason is undoubtedly very talented, and he will be given every opportunity to win the job. But I just have a hard time believing that Kirby Smart is going to let a true freshman take the first snap in the Georgia Dome against UNC. If that ends up happening, well than you can color me surprised.
In my opinion, Lambert will start against North Carolina, and we will see Jacob Eason play as well. I am no football coach, and I have no insight from practice of course. But I just find it hard to believe that the coaching staff would put Eason in that situation so early. Ideally, we will see Lambert start the game, and have some success. Then Jacob will be given an opportunity in the first half once the game settles in a little bit. Ideally, Eason will have some success as well, and be allowed more playing time throughout the game. I fully expect that Eason will win the job eventually, but not by the first game. Georgia has had some great quarterbacks through the years, but I can’t recall one true freshman that started his first game. Eric Zeier didn’t start his first game. Matt Stafford didn’t start his first game either, and both were just as highly touted as Eason. So get excited about the future, but get behind Lambert as well because he is the present. Go Dawgs! 30 Days!