It didn’t take long for Mark Richt to find a new power program to coach, and it may not take too long for the prized recruit he planned to bring to Georgia to follow him there, too.
As noted by CollegeSpun, when Georgia blog UGA Football Live posted a Tweet wishing Richt good luck at Miami, one of the early people to “like” the Tweet was none other than Jacob Eason, one of the nation’s top quarterback recruits who Richt won over in earning his pledge to Georgia. The like was quickly hidden from Eason’s timeline, but CollegeSpun caught a screenshot of the Tweet on Eason’s Twitter profile before it disappeared.
In the days immediately following Richt’s departure, Eason has already taking a hastily scheduled visit to Florida, and is widely believed to be re-opening his recruiting, at least slightly. It’s already well established that he’s happy to trade his home of the Pacific Northwest for the Southeast, and Florida is even warmer than Georgia, and beach bound. The key factor is Richt, who developed a very strong relationship with Eason throughout the recruiting process. And it’s not just idle speculation by yours truly and other sports writers; Eason’s personal quarterback coach was quick to say that Eason would certainly take a long look at a Miami program being led by Richt.
“I think for sure he will look at Miami because he had such a good relationship with Mark,” quarterback guru Taylor Barton told Rivals.com. “I know (Richt) was a major influence in his decision to commit to Georgia. It wasn’t the only reason, but it was a big one. I think he really hit it off with him. One, he liked (Richt’s) system, really liked the style and personality and felt that was the coach he really bought into, what he said and how he did it. With Miami being such a great program and now you have a coach that he liked so much going there, I for sure think that it will be a school that will be a lot of interest for him.
“When we were talking about schools Miami was up at the top of the list. Now you put the head coach of the school he committed to there, I think it definitely will have appeal to him.”
Granted, Barton’s thoughts are still speculative, but it’s very well informed speculation. It also could be the first act in Eason gradually re-directing his attention toward Miami heading into the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and National Signing Day.
Or, Eason could shirk everything else and stick with Georgia. We won’t know for sure until he enrolls at a school, but it certainly thickens the plot significantly in the meantime.