Competition from that Jake Fromm kid? (Eason’s word, not mine, by the way.) Well, yeah, sort of.
Smart has talked up the competition this spring between Fromm and Eason, as if there’s a chance Fromm really could yank the job away. Eason was asked if this felt like a real competition again?
“Yeah. I mean there’s always a competition every year, no matter who’s there,” Eason said. “I feel like Jake’s coming in, he’s a great kid, like I said before, and I’m looking forward to the next couple years with him.”
Did Eason need a push in order to get better and study harder? Eason started answering the question before the sentence was finished, his answer seeming pre-ordained.
“I think competition makes everyone better,” he said. “But having that guy there that’s pushing you in the butt, that’s definitely something you’re aware of. But ultimately it’s on yourself to get out of yourself what you want to get out.”
I think Kirby is right to look for ways to push his players’ buttons to make them better. I also think Eason is right when it comes to judging himself, and ultimately it comes down to finding that place inside that you reach to push yourself to improve. If he can’t find that, it won’t matter what Smart says about Fromm.