The spotlight follows the arm.
The golden-boy right arm of Jacob Eason, impossible to overlook and impossible to deny, capable of making any throw, attached to a tall, throwback frame.
The arm brings opportunity and expectation, the endless range of possibility that awaits Eason in Indianapolis after the Colts drafted him in the fourth round, the first time Indianapolis has drafted a quarterback since 2012.
Eason’s arm made him one of the most coveted recruits in the nation, a freshman starter at a traditional SEC powerhouse and a ready-made heir to one of the Pac-12's best teams. A kid coming of age in the public eye, every move followed by thousands of fans.
“I don’t think anything about Eason’s last four to five years has been easy,” said Missouri quarterbacks coach Bush Hamdan, who spent the past two seasons as Eason’s offensive coordinator at Washington. “These college quarterbacks are put under the microscope. Put under more pressure than a lot of NFL players.”
A rare commodity
They used to fly across the country just to get a glimpse of him.
Eason was a rare commodity, one of only two five-star quarterbacks in the recruiting class of 2016, and he’d picked Georgia early. Eason first committed to Georgia in July 2014, two years before he’d be able to take a meaningful snap in Athens.
Bulldog fans, Georgia recruiting reporters, they couldn’t wait that long. They’d hop on a plane, take a five or six hour flight to Seattle and make the hour-long drive north to the Lake Stevens High School practice fields.
“They’d be sitting in the stands, and then after practice, he’d go and meet with the little kids and the parents, he’d sign their little helmets and their shirts,” said Lew Widmann, Eason’s high school quarterbacks coach. “To have our own audience of people from another state, it was pretty bizarre.”
All to see the kid they called Skinny.