What I Learned Watching: Bailey Hockman

ATLANTA - Dean Legge takes a look at McEachern QB and UGA commit Bailey Hockman.

I was much more impressed with Bailey Hockman in a game setting than in a camp setting. He really competed hard and distributed the ball well in his team’s 50-14 blowout win over Tucker. the Tigers had a very difficult time accounting for the Indians’ offense. That’s what a legit running back, wide receiver, offensive line and quarterback will do for you.

Defenses don’t know what to stop, and when you can run you can almost do anything. That’s what McEachern did at the Georgia Dome - whatever they wanted.

I do want to talk about two situations because most of the game Hockman did what he wanted, so that’s not really a great judge of what he is or can be.

Twice I think we saw a glimpse into his future. The first time was when the Indians hit a long play down which looked like it might have been a touchdown, but it wasn’t. While most of his teammates were celebrating, Hockman realized (or was told) that his team had not yet scored. His father and head coach, Kyle, ran down the sideline (probably should have been flagged for being out of the box if we are grading the officials on the night) and screamed at his son to get the team lined up to take advantage.

Screaming, Hockman got his offensive line set and snuck into the end zone. I liked what I saw there. I liked the urgency at which he was playing in that moment. The game, which wound up a blowout, wasn’t at that point, and McEachern still needed to keep up the pace. Hockman provided that.

But any quarterback can have urgency. That doesn’t mean you can throw a football at a collegiate level. Hockman showed he can do just that in the second quarter with a scramble throw that ended up in the end zone. The left hander rolled to his left and flicked the ball to one of his college-level receivers for a score. It was a “wow” throw that made you totally understand why Georgia offered him going into his junior season.

He’s not as good a prospect as Jacob Eason. Eason has a much larger body and a bigger arm - that was obvious when the two were competing at Dawg Night. But anyone who thinks Hockman is going to roll over and let Eason start because he’s the higher-rated prospect - they are mistaken. This isn’t a matter of Hockman being a “take” because he’s a coach’s kid from a school that really produces prospects. He’s a legit quarterback who is an SEC-level prospect. He reminded me, in terms of size, of Aaron Murray.

Hockman, only a junior, really does need to progress in terms of his body. He’s small (or thin). He won’t be able to survive an SEC without getting larger. The good news is that he’s not going to be playing at Georgia any time soon, and his body should mature noticeably over the next four years, which is the next time we should realistically expect him to play in Silver Britches.

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