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Kirby Smart brings up a key point in defending Jake Fromm
When rival fans try and besmirch Jake Fromm, they bring up his performances in Georgia’s losses. The two Alabama games. The loss to LSU in his sophomore year. The first game against Auburn in his freshman year. Fromm has been good enough to beat out two 5-star quarterbacks who seem like they will start for teams that have both made the playoff in recent memory.
He’s also been good enough to go 12-0 against SEC East opponents, win a College Football Playoff game and an SEC Championship.
And yet to his detractors, they point to things like his arm strength or the lack of incredible athleticism as to why he isn’t good enough to lead Georgia or be a championship-winning quarterback.
But the thing that matters most when it comes to discussing Fromm is that Kirby Smart believes in him and backs him 100 percent.
In speaking with ESPN’s Paul Finebaum, Smart explained why Fromm continues to get better.
“Experience. When you play in our league, there is nowhere to hide. You cannot hide in our league,” Smart said. “You cannot hide behind a running game, you cannot hide behind a short passing game.
“You have to be able to play the game, get your protections right. I mean he goes into the toughest environments for two years now and has played really well.”
Smart also had a retort for those who like to bring up the five losses that Fromm has in his 29 starts.
“The games that he has not won, we have not supported him defensively all the time,” Smart said. “He is just a good leader. He has good players around him and he knows how to use those guys.”
In those five losses, Georgia has given up 40 points, 26 points, 36 points, 35 points and 28 points. That works out to an average of 33 points per game. In the 24 wins Georgia has given up an average of 14.5 points per game.
Related: Kirby Smart responds to Dan Mullen’s smack talk: ‘We want to talk with our helmets’
Now, of course, Fromm hasn’t been perfect in any of those games by any stretch. He’s had his fair share of struggles — especially against LSU in 2018. But after that LSU game, he proceeded to play the best game of his career against Florida. And in the second loss to Alabama, Fromm threw for 301 yards and 3 touchdowns. He pretty clearly outplayed Tua Tagovailoa in that game.
As DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell expertly coined last week, Fromm is a win manager. He might not have the arm cannon that Matthew Stafford had or the raw gaudy numbers that Aaron Murray did. But he’s won more than any Georgia quarterback to his point in his career. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.
Maybe if the defense doesn’t surrender the first 17 points of the game, the Bulldogs win the Sugar Bowl. If there isn’t a blown coverage in overtime of the first Alabama defeat, Fromm is the first quarterback since Buck Belue to lead Georgia to a national championship.
Fromm has done just about everything Smart and the Georgia offense have asked of him to this point. It’s part of the reason why Smart made such an effort to flip Fromm from Alabama when he was a recruit. It’s why Fromm was able to beat both Jacob Eason and Justin Fields. He does everything that’s asked of him.
To this point, Fromm hasn’t had the sexiest or flashiest skillset. But Georgia hasn’t asked him to play that way. He’s been asked to win football games in the SEC. And he’s done plenty of that.
Tate Ratledge to decide between Georgia and Tennessee on Monday
Georgia got some good recruiting news last Thursday when the Bulldogs picked up a commitment from 5-star outside linebacker Mekhail Sherman. The landing of Sherman helped propel the Bulldogs back into the top-10 of the 2020 recruiting rankings.
Related: New 5-star commit Mekhail Sherman shows his passion with a 700-word answer to a simple question
Well, the Bulldogs could be getting some more good news on Monday morning. Georgia is one of the finalists for 4-star offensive tackle Tate Ratledge, who will be announcing his commitment on Monday morning.