Georgia Bulldogs senior quarterback Grayson Lambert will start at quarterback on Saturday in the Bulldogs’ season opener against the North Carolina Tar Heels over five-star freshman Jacob Eason.
Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart threw the majority of the Dawg Nation for a loop when it was confirmed late Thursday morning that Greyson Lambert would be starting against North Carolina over Jacob Eason. Based on reports generally favoring Eason in the past, many assumed he would be named the starter. It appears as though Coach Smart valued experience over the five-star freshman hype.
We’ve stated before that under Coach Smart, nothing is given. Everything must be earned. Both quarterbacks were given the opportunity to prove themselves at practice in a very tight race. It has been reported by Mark Schlabach of ESPN that, having been in this position before, Lambert has a better understanding of the offense and made fewer mistakes at practice than Eason. Given that Eason is a true freshman, it’s really no surprise. Despite the criticism by fans, Lambert was ultimately seen as the safer choice for the Georgia Bulldogs.
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"Lambert, a fifth-year senior who started 12 games for Georgia a year ago, has been embroiled in an intense competition with true freshman Jacob Eason for the starting job. In the end, first-year coach Kirby Smart decided to go with Lambert’s experience — which is 28 games including his time at Virginia — over the potential of Eason, who was a 5-star recruit and the No. 1-rated pocket passer in America coming out of high school.It remains uncertain at this point whether Eason will also play in Saturday’s game. But, for all practical purposes, the Bulldogs are handing their game plan to Lambert, a 6-foot-5, 234-pound resident of Jesup. Redshirt junior Brice Ramsey had also competed for the starting job but was eliminated from consideration last week.Lambert won the starting job at Georgia last year after transferring in from Virginia in July of 2015. He started 12 of the Bulldogs’ 13 games last season, going 10-2 in those games. For the season, he completed 63.3 percent of his passes (162-of-256) for 1,959 yards and 12 touchdowns with just two interceptions. Lambert set an NCAA record for completion percentage in a game when he completed 24-of-25 in a win over South Carolina last September."
For those disappointed in the decision, try to look at the bright side of the situation. Lambert, a fifth-year senior, has proven himself capable though he may not be a fan favorite. If things do not go as planned with him, the Bulldogs can always make the switch to Eason. This only gives Eason additional time to gain more experience in the SEC. Not to mention, Nick Chubb is making his return this Saturday, which will be something to watch.