The football part for Eason? Well, that didn’t start off as pretty on Saturday.
Because of summer vacation and camps for other sports, Lake Stevens was without some of its key players. They brought along only one returning starter on the offensive line, and he suffered back spasms on the one-hour bus ride over. So he sat out, leaving Eason with five new blockers.
In warm-ups, the inexperience was easy to spot. When Eason lined up in the shotgun formation, two offensive snaps in a row went into the ground. The 6-foot-5 quarterback, known for his calm demeanor, managed to keep his cool after the mishaps. But he showed a little frustration after a lineman accidentally stepped on his ankle on another practice play.
The confusion carried over in the opening scrimmage against Mount Si — which upon reflection might’ve been the best team there. Each team gets 8-10 offensive snaps in the jamboree format, and Eason threw five passes, completing only one for 4 yards. Three other passes were dropped, and Eason missed an open receiver on another.
This was not how things were supposed to go for Lake Stevens, which was the two-time defending conference champions and had the nation’s No. 3 overall college prospect leading this year’s charge.
Fortunately, things turned around for the rest of the evening. Eason gained a lot of confidence when his 5-foot-4 receiver caught a short pass and outran the pursuit across the field for the first touchdown in the next scrimmage against O’Dea High School.
And he really got in a groove against Redmond High School, a playoff team from last year. Eason was nearly perfect, completing six of seven passes for 120 yards and three touchdowns, including an NFL-like throw in a tight window between two defenders for a 22-yard gain. The Redmond coaches just looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders as if to appear helpless after that beauty.
Eason’s final stats for the day: 15 of 24 on his passes for 199 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions, as Lake Stevens posted a 3-0-1 record.
Here’s what other coaches had to say about the 5-star:
- Redmond's Jason Rimkus: "He's the best quarterback I've ever seen. I'm 33 years old, so I haven't been coaching that long. You know, we went against some pretty good QBs in our conference last year with Ross Bowers (of Bothell, Wash.) going to Cal. I love Ross, but he's not as good as that kid (Eason). Jacob's arm strength is super. He just can flick it. It just seems to go a mile. That's the biggest thing. I have only seen him in the spread system. I really haven't seen him run. But he has an understanding of the game. From all I've heard from other people, he's a nice kid, too. He's humble for how good he is, which seems to be rare this day and age with Twitter and everything. When you see a kid humble like that, it's pretty special."
- Mount Si's Charlie Kinnune: "Georgia got itself a real good football player. He plays in a real good system. They are coached well. He's as advanced of a kid that I've seen in my 24 years of coaching. I like what I see. He's good." The good and bad? "Well, you look at his physical stature. He has got a rocket arm. He throws on time. He's accurate. So those are the things I like. And I can imagine, even though I don't know much about him, that he's going to have to improve his feet because he's so big."
- O'Dea's Monte Kohler: "That's two years I've seen him up here (at the scrimmage). I've watched film on him. He's got a big-time arm. He is a great player, and a great kid. He has got the intangibles. I kind of know the family so I know that he's a great young man. Besides being a good quarterback and good football player, he is just an outstanding young man." Good and bad? "He is a pocket guy. His release is phenomenal. He has got a high release and looks great. I think he has to improve his footwork, like all high school kids. He has got to be able to move a little bit better in the pocket. He's not going to break any long runs, but he has got to avoid that rush a little bit at the next level. He does a great job, though. He is fun to watch."
In the below video … after the scrimmage, Eason talked to the AJC about several topics, including his trip to UGA next month for Dawg Night prospect camp, along with the issue of another QB, Bailey Hockman of McEachern High School, committing to Bulldogs: