Bulldogs’ Jacob Eason ranked 27th-best QB in college football, 6th-best in SEC

UGA football practice 2017

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Jacob Eason ranked among best QBs in college football

With eight day remaining until the season begins, (You read that right. Only eight days until kickoff.) a slew of publications are releasing different kinds of preseason rankings. In one of the more interesting rankings I’ve seen over at Athlon Sports, Steve Lassan ranked all 130 starting quarterbacks in the FBS. Georgia starting QB Jacob Eason found a spot just outside the top 25. clocking in at 27th. That also ranks him as the sixth-best in the SEC, behind Jalen Hurts (11), Jarrett Stidham (12), Austin Allen (14), Nick Fitzgerald (15), and Jake Bentley (22).

Eason’s development is crucial to Georgia’s hopes of winning the SEC East in 2017. The five-star prospect started 12 games for the Bulldogs as a true freshman last fall and finished the year by throwing for 2,430 yards and 16 scores. Eason needs to improve his accuracy (55.1 percent) and do a better job of taking care of the ball (eight picks last year), but the talent is there to take a step forward in 2017.

Based on his talent, Eason has the potential to move into the top 10 of rankings like this one. It’s just a matter of putting it all together and playing more consistently than he did last season. CBS analyst Gary Danielson has confidence in Eason but less confidence in the players surrounding him.

“I think the least of their problems is at quarterback,” he said. “They need to get better at the other 10 positions.”

Another CBS analyst much closer to the program also has faith in Eason heading into his sophomore year. Former Georgia QB Aaron Murray spoke glowingly of Eason recently, but noted he’ll need the offensive line and running backs to step up and take some pressure off of him if he’s going to start reaching his potential this season.

Kirby Smarts discusses lessons learned after a year on the job

Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s recent Q&A with Kirby Smart reveals a lot about Georgia’s second-year coach and how he’s grown in his year-plus on the job. Like this bit, where he talks about pushing his players in practice (perhaps too hard) last year in an effort to establish a tougher culture within the program but an effort that might have contributed to some tough losses.

Nothing that stood out to me from a game-management standpoint, whether to go for it or not, whether to kick a field goal or not. If anything it would be more the week of practice. The week of Vanderbilt, coming off the South Carolina game having been on Sunday, I regret coming back and practicing on Monday. It was a Sunday to their bodies. Why practice? I’ve talked to people. It’s the only way to grow. I felt like towards the end of the year, we were a tired football team. Maybe we shouldn’t have practiced in pads as much. We had no [indoor practice facility], but we could have just not practiced. I felt some regrets about that. …

Our roster probably had 50 guys who really played. There’ll probably be 70 guys this year. The cumulative burden of playing is heavier when it’s 50 than when it’s 70. So you have to decide: Are you going to back off or are you going to try to push them through? I think it will pay off more this year that we pushed them last year. But the regret looking back is: Were we tired? Did we not finish against Georgia Tech because of that? Those are all things that are introspective for me.

Changing up looks on defense

Smart and his coaches continued to experiment with personnel on defense, as lots of important players were seen in practice working at different positions in case they’re eventually needed there in an emergency. From Seth Emerson of DawgNation:

Junior Jonathan Ledbetter worked a bit with the outside linebackers. Ledbetter, normally a defensive lineman, might have been getting in some work for different alignments. Inside linebacker Natrez Patrick also has gotten a look outside. Outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter has gotten some snaps at the nickelback. The staff appears to be moving guys around to see who can do what, just in case.

UGA hoops releases SEC schedule

Georgia hoops released its SEC schedule for this season, and it seems the Bulldogs’ conference slate will start with a bang. UGA begins SEC play at Kentucky on New Year’s Eve.

There are 8 days until kickoff, so enjoy these A.J. Greene highlights

We have to put up with one more weekend without Georgia football, so I think we deserve this small treat.

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The post Bulldogs’ Jacob Eason ranked 27th-best QB in college football, 6th-best in SEC appeared first on DawgNation.

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