Zeier steps into booth at Georgia

ATHENS – Eric Zeier completed 838 passes in his Georgia career, a handful of them to a backup wide receiver named Damon Evans.

Earlier this month, Evans, now the Bulldogs athletics director, re-established the connection. On Wednesday, Georgia announced it has hired Zeier to provide color commentary for the Bulldogs road football games.

A position in Georgia's broadcast booth became open this summer when Larry Munson decided he could no longer hold up for a complete season. Longtime color analyst Scott Howard will take over the play-by-play duties on the four road games, and Zeier, who is second in school history in passing yardage (11,153 yards), will take over the analyst's position.

"WSB (Radio) and Damon reached out and asked if I would have interest in stepping in for just this one year, and I said, ‘Absolutely,'" Zeier said.

Munson has not made his plans for 2008 known yet, but Zeier would be happy to become the permanent color analyst if the job is available, he said.

"If it's just this one year, that's fine," he said. "If I'm asked to do it beyond this one year and into the future, I would absolutely jump at that chance."

Now a resident of Franklin, Tenn., Zeier has "dabbled" in radio and television commentary but never done a live broadcast, he said.

"I believe what the biggest challenge is going to be is just finding the rhythm and timing within the booth," he said. "Obviously, my role is to bring my opinion because of my playing experience to the game."

Howard and Zeier held a trial broadcast during Georgia's scrimmage on Friday afternoon, calling the game from a sky suite to no audience.

"Eric and I were just trying to get comfortable with each other," Howard said. "Everybody involved seemed to feel good about it. We kind of got some of those nervous jitters out of the way for the first time."

The pair will have more dry runs before the season, and Zeier will join the broadcast team in other capacities for Georgia's home games. Howard expects the road game broadcast to differ greatly from what Georgia fans have grown accustomed to with Munson, who dominates the microphone for most of the game.

"It probably will feel more like a traditional broadcast where you have a little more give and take, a lot more analysis," Howard said. "We want to take advantage of Eric's expert opinion on the game of football. We're not going to waste that."

Zeier led the Bulldogs in passing from 1991-1994 and holds the school records for most passing yards in a season (3,525 in 1993). He was drafted in the third round of 1995 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns and played for the Browns, Baltimore and Tampa Bay in a six-year NFL career.

Very few of Zeier's career yards came on passes to Evans, who caught 23 passes for 260 yards in his career.

"Damon had a great set of hands and ran great routes," Zeier said. "He struggled getting open for some reason. I'm not sure if it was a speed thing or not."

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