Jake Fromm will get the chance to show he has more than just ‘special intangibles’ in 2019
Jake Fromm isn’t the most physically gifted quarterback. He doesn’t have a rocket arm or Michael Vick speed. The things he does best aren’t easy to explain, such as leadership and ball placement. But just because he doesn’t have the obvious physical traits that some fans crave, doesn’t mean he’s incapable of being a championship-caliber quarterback. Because he is.
It’s perfectly clear that if someone is going to lead Georgia to a national championship for the first time since 1980, Fromm is now going to be the one to do it.
For the first time in the Kirby Smart era, the team enters the spring with no quarterback controversy. Fromm is the unquestioned QB1 after starting 29 games of the past two seasons. Last season, Fromm threw 30 touchdowns compared to just 6 interceptions while leading the Bulldogs to another SEC championship game appearance.
Of course there are a number of moving parts Fromm and the Georgia offense have to adjust to this spring. The Bulldogs have to replace four of the top five pass catchers from the 2018 team, and work with a new offensive coordinator, as Jim Chaney left for Tennessee.
Despite playing for a new offensive coordinator in James Coley, Fromm feels better going into this season than he has at any other point in his Georgia career.
“I’m definitely a lot more comfortable,” Fromm said. “You definitely know exactly what’s going on, even more than I did last year. Things have slowed down.”
The comfort very likely comes from having real job security for the first time in his Georgia career. In his freshman season, Fromm had to outperform out 5-star quarterback Jacob Eason for the starting job. Then as a sophomore, Fromm held off Justin Fields, another 5-star quarterback to keep the starting job throughout the season.
But Fromm isn’t coasting on his past achievements. Over Georgia’s spring break, Fromm continued his work with his long-time quarterback coach, David Morris of QB Country. Since his sophomore year of high school, Fromm has worked with Morris on all aspects of his game.
And even with a much larger public profile, Fromm continues to go out of his way to work with Morris. Fromm spent part of his spring break in Mobile, Ala. working with Morris on a number of aspects of his game, as he’s done for the past six years now.
🎥 Spring Break Tradition for the last 6 years: @FrommJake comes to Mobile & gets after it.
— QB Country (@QBCountry) March 20, 2019
“We always kind of work on every aspect over several days,” Morris said. “We’ll go talk X’s and O’s, film review. We’ll watch Georgia film and let him run the room. It’s usually a pretty comprehensive run through. I think he wants to keep growing in all aspects of being a passer and quarterback.”
Some have speculated that the 2019 season could be Fromm’s final season in Athens, as he’s eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft. Fromm was also invited to Indianapolis last month by the NCAA to witness the NFL combine first hand as a learning experience.
“Jake’s a great player. Not only is he a great player, but he’s a player who gets the most out of everybody. People gravitate towards him,” quarterback expert Trent Dilfer said.
Morris echoed Dilfer’s comments, stating Fromm’s intangibles were special from the first day he began working with him as a high school sophomore.
“The saying is ‘when a guy makes it look easy, he’s special because it isn’t easy.’ Jake is one of those guys where it just comes easy to him. It’s usually one of those things that’s a trait of all the good ones. In practice, in games. You kind of never see fall off. A lot of guys have good days or even great days and then the next day, it’s where is that guy. He’s very consistent.”
Fromm also has more in his bag of tricks than just leadership and likability. While Fromm won’t be confused with Matthew Stafford, Fromm’s accuracy and ball placement are exceptional. His talents shined against Alabama in the 2018 SEC Championship game, highlighted by his 23-yard touchdown strike to Riley Ridley.
ABSOLUTELY. PERFECT. THROW. pic.twitter.com/fyMlRLKhH7
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 1, 2018
With a new offensive coordinator comes new tendencies. Under Chaney, Georgia threw the ball on fewer than 40 percent of its plays in the two seasons with Fromm as the starter. In Coley’s last year at Miami as a play caller, the Hurricanes threw the ball on 52 percent of all plays.
Factor in the turnover amongst Georgia’s pass catchers as well, and Fromm is going to have a bigger role in shaping Georgia’s offense in 2019.
“I think with the young and inexperience receiving core, there’ll be an opportunity to lead those guys,” Morris said. “He’ll carry a little bit more of the load this year because of that.”
Like any prospect, he’s had his fair share of rough outings. But as Morris points out, Fromm always bounces back from those performances. After having his worst game of the season against LSU, Fromm responded by throwing for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns against a Florida team that finished ranked in the top 10. He also threw for 301 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Alabama game.
As for a specific improvements, Dilfer gave one area he’d like to see Fromm get better at in his junior season.
“I think he needs to be a little bit more athletic at the position. He needs to improve in the pocket, improve his movement patterns,” Dilfer said. “But he’s got the arm, the leadership, the brain, the toughness.”
To give an idea of the focus on quarterbacks for Georgia this spring, Smart spent more time addressing who would be the potential back-up quarterback than Fromm. It’s clear the spotlight this spring isn’t on Fromm. That’ll be saved for some of Georgia’s biggest games this fall, like Notre Dame and Florida.
Those will be the games where Fromm can validate the talk of being a first round pick and disprove those in the Georgia fan base who still doubt his championship ability — and yes those people exist. But if it weren’t for the tireless hours Fromm puts in during this spring, or over the years with Morris, Fromm and Georgia football wouldn’t be in the position they are entering the 2019 season.
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