Quarterback Jacob Eason made it official Friday afternoon, announcing via Twitter that he is leaving the University of Georgia after two seasons.
Eason started 12 of 13 games as a freshman during the 2016 season and started this past year's opener against Appalachian State. The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder sprained his knee midway through the first quarter against App State, missed the next three games and backed up freshman Jake Fromm the rest of the way as the Bulldogs earned their first Southeastern Conference championship in 12 years and reached the championship game of the College Football Playoff.
"Thank you UGA for an incredible two years," Eason said. "The memories and relationships I have made will truly last a lifetime. I will miss suiting up in red and black, but Athens will always be a place I can call home."
The Seattle Times reported this week that Eason is expected to transfer to the University of Washington, which would require him to sit out the 2018 season. Georgia will move forward with Fromm and five-star signee Justin Fields, who has enrolled early out of Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Ga.
Eason was the nation's No. 1 quarterback prospect in the 2016 signing class, according to Rivals.com and ESPN, and he enrolled early after arriving from Lake Stevens, Wash. He backed up Greyson Lambert in the 2016 opener against North Carolina but came off the bench and helped the Bulldogs to a 33-24 win.
The following week, Eason won the starting job and kept it for a Bulldogs team that went 8-5 with a 31-23 victory over TCU in the Liberty Bowl. Eason completed 204 of 370 passes (55.1 percent) for 2,430 yards as a freshman, with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
This past season, he completed just four of seven passes for 28 yards.
Eason's injury occurred after he had scrambled out of bounds and then was pushed by Mountaineers defensive tackle Myquon Stout, who was penalized for the late hit. Eason was asked about how that transpired during his first media availability this past season, which was minutes after the SEC title-game victory over Auburn.
"Things happen, and that's life," Eason said. "Football is a game, and you can get hurt. My dad got hurt in college. Injuries are common. It's kind of one of those things where you can be mad about it and sulk about it all season, but I took what happened and did what I could to help the team get better.
"I was there for Jake and there with Brice (Ramsey, the third-string quarterback), and I was the same person in the quarterback room. Obviously my role became a little different, but the season turned out like we all wanted it to."
After Georgia's 26-23 loss to Alabama in overtime Monday night in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Eason put his arm around Fromm after Fromm had walked off the field with coach Kirby Smart and the senior tailback tandem of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.
Georgia junior defensive tackle Trenton Thompson announced Friday that he is forgoing his final season of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.
"After long discussion with my family and coaches, I have decided to enter the 2018 NFL draft," Thompson posted on Instagram. "I would like to thank my family, teammates, Coach Smart and the rest of the staff for all of their support the last three years."
Thompson was the nation's top overall prospect in the 2015 signing class, according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings. He played in 13 of 15 games this past season, totaling 38 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss.
Last month on Instagram, Thompson posted that he was "looking ahead" to the Bulldogs in 2018.
Banks joining Tide?
Former Texas A&M tight ends and special teams coach Jeff Banks is set to join Alabama's staff as special teams coach, according to a report from Sports Illustrated. Banks spent five seasons with the Aggies and worked the past three years with standout return specialist Christian Kirk.
"Bama just got the best in the business," Kirk posted Friday on Twitter.
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