… so why didn’t he choose to run out of trouble more often?
“A lot of it was freshman nerves,” Eason said after the Liberty Bowl. “Moving around wasn’t my big thing and wasn’t my skill set, so I wasn’t comfortable doing that. Now, when the opportunity is there, you’ve got to take it.”
Running was never hailed as the 6-foot-5, 235-pounder’s primary asset last winter, when he enrolled early as the top quarterback nationally according to ESPN and Rivals.com. It wasn’t by the end of last season, either, but Eason had discovered using his feet was getting him out of dire predicaments.
Eason had 15- and 8-yard runs against TCU in Memphis, with the former his longest of the season, topping a 12-yard scramble at Missouri. His coaches hope to see more of that ability.
“He’s got to understand where the sticks are and to go get them,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said after the Liberty Bowl. “He scrambled for a couple of first downs that were big momentum swings, and I just think that Jacob is growing up.”
Said offensive coordinator Jim Chaney: “He’s still just so young that he doesn’t always know when to do it.”
First off, when you’ve played your high school career in a shotgun, five-wide set, the need for you to run simply isn’t there. Second, I suspect that having Eason run early on last season wasn’t exactly a high priority on Smart’s and Chaney’s to-do list. So laying all of that on the kid is a bit unfair.
That being said, if the defense is gonna give you something, you’ve got to learn how to take advantage of it. Getting the green light is great, but you still have to know how to drive the car properly.
Apparently Eason’s getting some lessons on that from a couple of skilled drivers.
Smart said in Memphis that Bulldogs tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel spent time with Eason during the bowl practices to teach him some tricks of the trade.
“With the two best running backs in the nation, it’s not hard to learn from them to see what they do,” Eason said. “Obviously I’m not going to run like them, but they give me an idea.”
I’m really looking forward to that first Eason stiff-arm that extends a run.