Former SEC quarterbacks and current SEC Network analysts D.J. Shockley and Tim Tebow probably don’t agree on much — after all, they were on opposite sides in the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” rival with Shockley attending Georgia and Tebow playing at Florida.
But Shockley and Tebow concur on one thing — that the Bulldogs should turn it loose with UGA quarterback Jake Fromm in the SEC Championship game.
“In this game, you’ve got to let it all hang out. You don’t get another opportunity like this, to be in a ballgame like this, playing in a game that everybody in the country is looking at,” Shockley said at the East Atlanta Kids Club charity event on Thursday. “I think he’s just got to trust those guys and play within himself. Do what he does as far as letting it fly.”
Both Fromm and UGA offensive coordinator James Coley have shared the majority of blame for the team’s offensive words, but both Shockley and Tebow brought up other issues.
Both ESPN analysts cited Georgia wide receiver core as a reason for Fromm’s statistical dip in 2019. Senior Lawrence Cager has been terrific, but he’s been in and out of the lineup since the middle of October and won’t be playing against No. 1 LSU in the SEC Championship Game.
While freshman George Pickens has shown flashes of brilliance as well, he won’t be playing in the first half of Saturday’s game either because of an ejection against Georgia Tech last week.
That puts Fromm in a difficult spot against LSU. Regardless of who is playing receiver, though, Shockley says Fromm needs to ‘trust those young guys,’ and Georgia must ‘spread it out’ and let Fromm go.
Tebow said that Fromm is “going through his reads” and “playing well” this season. He also added that not just Georgia’s receivers, but Fromm’s entire offensive cast needs to be better.
“I don’t know that it’s necessarily Jake (Fromm) getting his groove back, I think it’s the support. I think it’s the receivers winning in man-to-man coverage, being able to get more of a running game going, being able to support him,” Tebow said Thursday.
“Fromm has been a lot better in big games that people give him credit for. He hasn’t had the numbers this year, and there’s the criticism. I hear it, but if you really watch him play, he needs some receivers to step up.”
Shockley and Tebow both volunteered as part of the “SEC Good Works Day of Service” at the East Atlanta Kids Club charity event Thursday in Atlanta. The project was designed to improve indoor and outdoor facilities in Brownwood Park Recreation Center.
“We have an opportunity to come out here with AllState and have a big part of putting a community together, helping kids, and kind of rejuvenating a certain park or area, and the opportunity today to come out here and do that is pretty tremendous,” Shockley said. “We’ll get to see some kids later on today. We’re putting the work in now, early in the morning, early afternoon, and then kids come out in the afternoon and see all the hard work, and it makes their day full of joy. It’s definitely one of the more enjoyable times of year.”