With his Georgia Bulldogs less than a month away from beginning the football season, Eric Zeier is ready.
Entering his seventh season as the color analyst for the Georgia Bulldog Radio Network, Zeier said he’s excited to see how the fifth-ranked Bulldogs fare against No. 11 Clemson, No. 8 South Carolina and No. 14 LSU early in the schedule.
“The anticipation coming into this year is as high as ever,” Zeier said. “It’s an offense that returns (quarterback) Aaron Murray, (running back) Todd Gurley, the entire offensive line. Obviously, a lot of firepower on that side of the ball. The big question mark is on the defensive side. But if there’s one thing about a Todd Grantham-coached defense it’s that guys are going to be ready to play. If we can make our way through the gantlet of the first four games of the season, who knows what can happen? But I like our chances.”
With about 250 fans in attendance, Zeier was honored Monday night by the Augusta Bulldog Club at Julian Smith Casino. The All-American quarterback played from 1991-94, serving as team captain his final two seasons. He finished his career with 11,153 passing yards – a Southeastern Conference record later broken by Peyton Manning. Zeier left school with 67 passing records and 18 Southeastern Conference records.
Zeier spent six seasons in the NFL with Cleveland, Baltimore and Tampa Bay. In 2001, he played in the Atlanta Falcons’ training camp, but he was cut from the 53-man roster. Zeier now works as a senior vice president for Bank of America, living in Marietta, Ga., with his wife, Julie, who is pregnant with a boy. Zeier also has two sons, Zeke and Ike – hockey players, he said – from a previous marriage.
Zeier returned to Georgia in 2007, working with the radio crew. He started his job working alongside legendary play-by-play man Larry Munson.
“To have a chance to call a game with him was a dream of mine,” Zeier said. “To be a part of the team and remain a part of the program is a dream come true. I love every minute of it.
“It’s a lot of prep. Fortunately for me, I get to go into my role and talk about what I spent a lifetime doing, which is analyzing defenses and talking about that.”
This fall, Zeier gets to analyze Murray, who will likely own every major career school passing record following his senior season. Zeier said he’s been impressed with Murray in his first three seasons.
“He manages and dictates the game and takes advantage of weaknesses on the defensive side of the football. I look for his progression to continue,” Zeier said. “If there’s one area I think if you’d ask the fan base where he could step up it’s playing and winning those big games. He’s done it. I’ve been an advocate of the work he’s done right from the very beginning. But right now, can he take this team and win an SEC Championship? If he does, he’s going to secure his legacy as one of the best, if not the best, quarterbacks ever to play the game.”