NEW ORLEANS — Jake Fromm is having fun in football practices, enjoying his time with teammates and looking forward to making the most of the Sugar Bowl.
A three-week break since the last game has clearly given Fromm time to catch his breath and refresh his outlook and mindset.
“Yeah, went out, got to hunt a lot, and went home and got to spend time with family,” Fromm said. “Those are always great times to find a little peace and quiet and put things in perspective.”
The Georgia football team captain has been the focal point throughout a challenging season. Fromm has shouldered tremendous pressure each outing in leading the Bulldogs to wins over Notre Dame and rivals Florida, Tennessee and Auburn, defending the SEC East Division crown along the way.
Next up, Fromm will lead the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) against a No. 7-ranked Baylor (11-2) that has 30 takeaways and ranks in the nation’s top 10 in sacks.
“The narrative last year here was …. a lot of people didn’t want to be here,” Fromm said, referring to UGA’s 28-21 loss to Texas in last season’s Sugar Bowl. “
But for us, this is an awesome opportunity to be here and a big-time bowl, and we don’t want to be out-hit and out-hustled, and the guys in this locker room are competitors.”
Fromm said he’s gotten back his NFL draft grade, but he’s going to wait until after the Sugar Bowl (TV: ESPN, 8:45 p.m., Wednesday) before discussing his future plans with his parents.
For now, the focus is on this game and the players who stayed committed to the team and are in New Orleans.
Fromm and tailback D’Andre Swift are two of the four Georgia players elected permanent captains that are present for the game. Captains Andrew Thomas and J.R. Reed chose not to come to the bowl game.
Fromm says Swift’s presence is meaningful.
“That says a lot about his character and a lot about how much he loves this football team,” Fromm said. “Whether he can go or not, that’s up to his injury, but I know he wanted to be here from the beginning because he loves this team and he loves these guys on this team, and he really cares about us.”
Fromm wasn’t critical of the players who chose to skip the game and focus on themselves for the NFL draft, but he did say it’s not a decision he would have made even if he was ranked a top 5 pick.
“I’m not in that position, but hypothetically speaking, if I were, I love this football team, I love this university. So for me, I think I would definitely play,” Fromm said. “But I’m not in that position at all.
“But I love this university and I love this team, and it would be an opportunity for me to play one last time with my brothers.”
Fromm explained why, for him, the bowl system is still a valuable and rich tradition for college football.
“I think all bowl games have their importance and are really special in their own way,” Fromm said. “It gives guys an opportunity to go out and see a city they’ve never been to as kind of a football vacation.
“It’s fun, and you get to spend time with your teammates and really get to mingle and do things you wouldn’t normally do, and I’m thankful to be here and have this opportunity.”
Several of the other Georgia players who aren’t at the bowl had academic issues or failed substance tests, but Coach Kirby Smart declined to address their absences.
Georgia QB Jake Fromm
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