Chalk former Bulldog and Pittsburgh Steeler great Hines Ward as someone firmly in the camp of freshman quarterback Jacob Eason.
In fact, when asked Thursday how long head coach Kirby Smart should wait before sticking him in the starting lineup, Ward said it should be immediately.
“I say play him. Playing is the best experience he can get,” Ward told reporters, including 11Alive Sports, at Thursday’s satellite camp being held at Buford High School.
“Just don’t overwhelm him and give him too much. But being on the field, you definitely learn a lot faster than sitting on the sideline. You don’t really get that experience by being on the sideline.”
Time will tell.
Smart has made it clear he won’t be announcing the starting quarterback job until sometimes during fall camp.
But Ward says he’s seen enough.
“I watched a couple of his games. He’s got a big arm,” Ward said. “(Mike) Bobo recruited him. I think he’ll (Eason) bring a lot of excitement back to Georgia.”
As for the Bulldogs, Ward likes what he’s seen there, too.
“I think they’re going to be good. But I’m really looking forward to seeing Eason,” he said. “I’m looking for big things out of him.”
Ward attended Thursday’s camp hosted by Georgia, Colorado State, Georgia Southern and Kennesaw State at the invitation of Bobo, his former teammate with the Bulldogs, along with Smart.
“I just want to thank Bobo for sending me a text because I didn’t know anything about satellite camps,” Ward said. “But Bobo and I have always had a great relationship over the years and stuff like that. He’s going to do a great job at Colorado State.”
But Ward said he wouldn’t coach there.
“Not at Colorado State, that’s too far,” said Ward, who in recent weeks once again stated his desire to one day coach with his home-state Bulldogs.
“I want to stay in Georgia. But I’m not out here to lobby for a coaching job, I don’t need to do that. I’m just out here to support my teammates plus I want to see these high school kids and hopefully help them become better players.”