Why Jake Fromm and D’Andre Swift are legit Heisman Trophy favorites
ATHENS — The Georgia football offense is loaded for 2019, from its experienced and vaunted front line, to a third-year starting quarterback in Jake Fromm and returning 1,000-yard rusher in D’Andre Swift.
Sports illustrated is the latest to take note, listing Fromm and Swift among the Heisman Trophy favorites entering the 2019 season.
Fromm was listed among four “Elite Quarterbacks on Elite Teams” along with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts.
Swift, meanwhile, was in the “Workhouse Running Backs” group with 20 other backs.
Fromm and Swift have been among the Heisman Trophy favorites throughout the offseason, with BetOnline.Ag installing them at 12-to-1 back in January.
BetOnline.com kept Fromm and Swift’s Heisman Trophy odds at 12-to-1 in February, too.
It appears spring drills did nothing to remove Fromm and Swift from the frontrunners for the award.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart sounds ready to give new offensive coordinator James Coley some latitude to open up the offense this season.
“People think balance means 50-50, (and) balance is not 50-50,” Smart said this spring.
“Balance is being able to run the ball when you have to run the ball and being able to throw the ball when you have to throw the ball. So can you do both? Yes, you can be successful at both.
“That might be 70-30 one game and then 30-70 the other way the next game.”
The good news for Swift — and Fromm — is that Coley’s offense is expected to include plenty of throws to the backs.
Swift has proven an effective receiver as well as runner, which is good when one considers UGA has not had a back get more than 24 carries since Smart’s first game as head coach in 2016.
Swift caught four passes or more in five games last season. In the last two games, Swift had six and five catches, respectively, in addition to a TD catch in each game.
That bodes well for Fromm, as well. UGA lost four of its top five pass catchers from last season to the NFL draft.
Fromm finished fifth in the nation in passing efficiency lat season, with Tagovailoa the only returning QB who was ranked higher.
Fromm ranked only 42nd in the nation in passing yardage (2,749), but that was with Smart looking to play former Georgia QB Justin Fields as much as possible in relief.
That’s not as likely to be the case in 2019, meaning the Bulldogs could put up single-season record offensive numbers, and place Fromm and Swift squarely in the Heisman Trophy race.