That’s when I expect for the three scholarship quarterbacks on UGA’s roster to know their fate heading into the season opener against North Carolina. Have a look from their perspective on a day like today.
If you are Greyson Lambert, you may continue to be the starter, but you have been dismissed as a year-long starter in 2016 for some time by the fans and media. Lambert’s road has been a rocky one since he lost the job at Virginia in the spring of 2015. After leaving Charlottesville, he won the UGA job, but struggled during the 2015 season - even losing the job before gaining it back at the end of the year. UGA’s offensive production was at lows we’ve not seen in decades. In ten BCS-level games UGA’s offense failed to score 20 points seven times. Lambert failed to throw for 150 yards seven times in 12 games. All of that (and other stuff, too) led to longtime UGA coach Mark Richt being fired after 15 pretty successful seasons.
The good news was that Lambert still won ten games as a starter. But he didn’t lock down the QB job coming out of the spring, and like the other two QBs, still hasn’t been named the starter for the UNC game. The question with Lambert (and Brice Ramsey) is if he’s named the starter for the Carolina game does that mean he’s the starter for a long time, or just until the program is out of the SEC East race?
If Lambert doesn't win the job, he will be dismissed as Brian Schottenheimer’s brainchild and a painful offensive mistake that cost Richt his job. It will be the second time in his college career to lose a starting job from one season to the next.
Ramsey, on the other hand, got a new life after the “No Schott” offense offense left town, and Jim Chaney came in. Ramsey is most well known for throwing a pick six against Alabama rather than being the last UGA QB to beat a ranked team (Belk Bowl, 2014).
Ramsey has been virtually ignored as a candidate to win the job by pundits. This has always been a Lambert-Eason fight in the media. If he were to be announced as the starter heading into the game there could be some notion that he might be more likely to keep the job for longer from Eason than Lambert, but the popular thinking would still be that he’s just keeping the seat warm until Eason is ready to play.
If he doesn’t win the job the job, Ramsey will be dismissed as Mike Bobo’s favorite toy that never developed into the potential many thought he could. Perhaps he might be remembered as an inconsistent punter.
Its not that Jacob Eason won’t start for sure against North Carolina, but it is hard to imagine him being the starter in the first game. He’s had the most vicious learning curve of the three quarterbacks. He had a miserable first scrimmage. His second scrimmage was better, but none of the QBs had overwhelming performances that day. Of late Eason has been going with the No. 1 offense - a clear sign that there is a future for him in Athens. What that role will be seems a bit unclear.
Insiders say that move was as a result of the coaching staff being comfortable with one of the two older guys being the starter. But logic would dictate that if a quarterback is going that much with the first team, that means there’s something more to it than development.
Nonetheless, if Eason is named the starter for the UNC game that means not only does the staff think he’s the future, but that he gives Georgia the best chance to win the opener in the Dome. If he’s not named the starter, or even if he is named the starter, and he doesn’t live up to crushing expectations, he will have to hear about the next savior for Georgia football… Jake Fromm.