Jacob Eason is already one of the major faces of Georgia’s program.
He came in as a heralded recruit with a lot of hype. And in his third-ever game and second career start, he displayed the kind of poise and wherewithal to not be swallowed up by the magnitude of needing a touchdown with less than four minutes remaining in game.
Calmly, Eason gathered his players in the huddle at Georgia’s own 20-yard line, and told his teammates they’d win the game.
"He’s a leader," right guard Lamont Gaillard said. "All he told us was to get this touchdown."
Eason, only 18 years old, ended the drive with a 20-yard touchdown to receiver Isaiah McKenzie. The freshman phenom, referred to as "The Kid," finished 29-of-55 passing for 308 yards, three touchdowns and interception in Georgia’s 28-27 win over Missouri.
Eason has arrived and will likely create many more moments like Saturday’s. He’ll also have his share of freshman mistakes, too.
But other than that, there’s not much else to know about Eason as a person. Head coach Kirby Smart was asked Monday why Eason continues to be made unavailable to reporters, despite his game-day heroics against Missouri and ability he’s shown as a quarterback.
"What year is he?" Smart asked the reporter.
"A freshman," a reporter replied. "He’s old enough to be drafted and go fight for our country."
"Right, no doubt," Smart said. "What year is he in school?"
"A freshman," the reporter said.
"We have a policy here," Smart said, alluding to his stance that no freshmen will speak to the media. "Jacob Eason adheres to that policy too. Thanks."
Reporters did get to speak to Eason on National Signing Day, when he, Julian Rochester and Isaac Nauta were made available for interviews. Other than that, Eason has been shielded. If Eason continues to play well, his on-field legend and persona will continue to grow without ever saying a word.
Any other insight into Eason the person will have to come through his teammates and those who know him well.
"He’s definitely confident and business-like," fullback Christian Payne said. "I like to compare him to myself a little bit, a laid-back guy. He’s kind of goofy. Every now and then that’s kind of how he is. But when it’s game time he’s able to turn on another switch."
Even after his performance against Missouri, Smart said there wasn’t much learned about the young quarterback in Saturday’s win that he didn’t already know.
"I think with the reps he’s gotten, he’s grown and he’s gotten better," Smart said. "The kid has grown up a lot. I think with each and every rep he’s got to continue to grow. When you make one mistake you try not to make that mistake again. When you don’t call a play right you try to call that play right every time from now on. He’s shown the propensity that when he makes a mistake once he can usually correct that."
Since the spring, Georgia’s teammates have been wowed by Eason in practice. Through three games, that’s translated to the field.
Being able to lead his team 80 yards down the field against Missouri was a glimpse of the kind of player he can be. So while Eason’s voice won’t be heard by reporters until at least the offseason, his teammates will speak for him about the kind of player he’s becoming.
"I thought he showed a lot of resiliency and confidence in the huddle," Payne said. "He showed a lot, through his actions with how confident he was repping that two-minute drive. Fourth-and-10, backs against the wall, he delivered in the moment. That’s really good for a freshman quarterback in an SEC moment."