If you start with the premise that, while Jacob Eason is a tremendously talented quarterback who had his expected struggles starting as a true freshman in the SEC, he is being counted on by the coaching staff, his teammates and the fan base to take the next step forward in his second season, then the question becomes what’s the lever that moves him there? Is he sufficiently self-motivated to push himself to the next level, or is he someone who’s wired to do that by competition?
If it’s the latter — and as Eason enjoyed a stellar high school career without being pressured by competition, that’s far from a given — it’s a little hard to see where that might come from. Lambert, who lost the starting position to Eason by the second game of the season, is gone. Brice Ramsey, who wound up a second straight season as the starting punter, is by some accounts wavering between staying and going.
Then there’s Jake Fromm, the other five-star recruit who’s now sitting in quarterbacks meetings with Eason. While you can never say never, it’s hard to see how replacing one true freshman who had to learn the ropes with coaches, players and an offense he’d never played in before with another who would have to experience the same learning curve would be a recipe for success. You’d have to think the coaches are fervently hoping the light goes on for Eason, which would allow Fromm the benefit of a redshirt year getting comfortable.
But that gets me back to the question in the header. If Eason needs to be pushed towards greatness, who’s gonna do the pushing?