As I’ve stated in posts past, a little competition never hurts.
Jacob Eason arrived last season as a true freshman, with plenty to learn. There were a lot of expectations upon his arrival and, for the most part, he performed as expected: he overtook Greyson Lambert for the starting job, showcased how much his arm can do when tasked, and made some special plays for Georgia (one of which resulted in a big time road win against Mizzou).
That said, at no point was there any reason for Eason to worry about losing the starting position, once he’d earned it away from Lambert.
Lambert was on borrowed time from the moment Kirby Smart arrived, and none of the other quarterbacks ever mounted a serious challenge.
Jake Fromm offers a very different dynamic.
Smart spoke about Fromm on the Paul Finebaum show yesterday. Said Smart, in regards to what Fromm’s competitive nature brings to the table, “That part has helped as well. It’s been good to have Jake (Fromm) in meetings and he (Eason) realizes this kid is coming up on my tail pretty quick”.
To his credit, Fromm has made sure to not let up in the least–true freshman or not–he’s in the playbook and he’s doing his best to learn what he needs to learn in order to get on the field.
That diligence is a reminder to Eason that he needs to stay focused because, this time around, the competition is real and Smart has already made it clear that no starter’s job is safe from change.
“Throughout his career he has been special at leading teams,” Smart said of Fromm. “He’s continued to do that. He hasn’t shied away at all at our place to step up and lead. And I think him pushing Jacob is a really good thing. If he sits in a meeting and answers something that Jacob can’t answer, it bothers Jacob. That’s really good. Competition, guys, is what drives us all. It’s the fact that somebody is lighting a fire under him. You can’t get comfortable, by no means.” (Chip Towers, DawgNation)
End of the day, I still don’t see Fromm snatching the starting job away from Eason. There is so much to earning the starting quarterback position than having a strong desire to play it on Saturday.
Even so, Fromm will play this season. The lack of depth at quarterback assures as much–and when he does, people will scrutinize each player for the sake of comparison–and if he does well, and Eason stagnates, things could get interesting.
The pressure is certainly more on Eason, than Fromm.
As for Fromm, he’s only doing what he set out to do: make the team better while also challenging Eason for the job.
Said Fromm (of Eason) this past December:
“We’re good. We talk all the time. He’s a good guy. He has a lot of great talent and he’s a good football player. But I can’t wait to get in there and compete with him. It’s about making the team better.”
“Competitors want to compete, and that’s what I want to do,” Fromm said. “I want to make myself and the University of Georgia’s football program better. Georgia is where I always wanted to be, so I’m going there. I’m excited to be there and help anyway I can.” (Chip Towers, DawgNation)