Quarterback Jacob Eason made it official by announcing Friday that he will transfer from the University of Georgia program.
Eason finished the 2017 season as a backup after starting 12 of 13 games as a true freshman the year before.
He started Georgia's season opener against Appalachian State, but he sustained a sprained knee on the third series of the game. When his knee healed, quarterback Jake Fromm was playing so well that the coaches decided not to go back to Eason.
Eason announced his decision in a statement posted on Twitter.
"Thank you UGA for an incredible two years," Eason wrote. "The memories and relationships I have made will truly last a lifetime. I will miss suiting up in red and black, but Athens will always be a place I can call home."
Eason came to Georgia as a heralded five-star recruit and Gatorade National Player of the Year. It didn't take long for him to see the field as a freshman. He rotated in with senior Greyson Lambert in the first game of the 2016 season against North Carolina. A week later against Nicholls, the starting job was his.
By all accounts, Eason earned the starting job coming out of summer workouts and preseason practice by outperforming Fromm on the practice field. But Fromm always made the competition close enough with his preparation in the film room. During the Rose Bowl media day, Eason admitted this past season was "different," considering he was used to being a starter for so long.
"You still prepare like it’s the same as last year, like you’re the man," Eason said. "Ultimately I’ll get better in that regard. My game’s improved with a lot of practice. It’s been different role, but I’m glad I’ve had that experience."
As a freshman, Eason threw for 2,430 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In limited time this past season, Eason completed four of seven passes for 28 yards.
Assuming Eason transfers to another FBS program, he will have to sit out next season before having two years of eligibility left. The indication is that Eason will transfer to Washington, which is what The Seattle Times reported earlier in the week. Eason has yet to make a transfer destination known at this time.
With Eason gone, Georgia will have two quarterbacks on scholarship for the 2018 season with Fromm and freshman Justin Fields, who enrolled early with the program. Georgia's third quarterback, at least for now, will be walk-on Stetson Bennett, who redshirted this past season while working with the practice team.
Eason's decision to leave gives Georgia 20 open spots for its 2018 roster. That number will likely increase once NFL draft decisions and other transfers are announced. Georgia inked 20 players during the early signing period and has another three committed at the moment.