Bailey Hockman, who may be the best prep quarterback in Georgia regardless of grade, committed to UGA last month.
The natural question was why. Why would Hockman, the nation’s No. 3 quarterback for 2017, commit to UGA when the program already has a pledge from the country’s No. 1 QB for this year (2016)? That would be 5-star recruit Jacob Eason of Lake Stevens, Wash.
Why would Hockman set himself up for another D.J. Shockley, Joe Cox or Hutson Mason succession plan as the UGA quarterback? The junior’s answer to the Eason question should make Mark Richt and Bulldogs offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer smile.
“He’s (Eason) a great player and obviously everyone knows that,” Hockman said. “He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the country right now. He can play. The guy can flat-out play but competition is what football is about. I’m going to push him and he’s going to push me. We’re going to make each other better.”
McEachern’s four-star quarterback prospect then brought up future NFL Hall of Famer Tom Brady.
“Tom Brady sat behind a guy for three or four years at Michigan,” Hockman said. “Now he’s probably in my opinion the best quarterback ever to play football.”
Hockman also pointed out his freshman year at McEachern in 2013. He sat behind a talented veteran before it was his turn.
“That year was the year I learned the most I ever have about playing quarterback,” Hockman said. “Eason will have one year on me and if he beats me out I will probably redshirt. He’ll start as a freshman and if he’s another Matthew Stafford or one of those guys he’ll be gone in three years. If he beats me out while I am there, then that will still give me two or three years to play.”
Eason and Hockman have never met in person. They’ll get to see each other at Saturday’s “Dawg Night” prospect camp at UGA.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.