Georgia went on an unexpected run to the national title game last season after losing starting quarterback Jacob Eason to an injury in Week 1. But Jake Fromm took over, and the rest is history.
The Bulldogs beat Auburn in the SEC title game and edged Oklahoma in a classic Rose Bowl, all the while being led by a freshman quarterback who didn’t let the big moments get to him.
On Wednesday morning, Georgia coach Kirby Smart shed some light on his thought process when he decided to keep Fromm as the starter and leave Eason on the bench.
“At the time, I was worried about App State, who had a really good defense,” Smart said on WJOX radio in Birmingham on Wednesday. “They had played Tennessee well the year before and we were very concerned about their team. It gave us a little momentum in that game and I thought, ‘Well this young guy came in and did a good job.’ ”
Still, most players get a chance to regain their starting positions after coming back from injury. But Eason never started another game before transferring to Washington this offseason.
“I thought Jacob was going to get every opportunity to come back, and I thought he did,” Smart said. “But I thought Fromm kept improving, and I thought that’s what put us over the top, the fact that he got better game to game.”
Fromm finished the season as the perfect complement to Georgia’s run-heavy attack that featured Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and De’Andre Swift. He completed 62 percent of his passes, throwing 24 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions. In the last five games before facing Alabama in the CFP title game, he threw just 1 interception to 10 touchdowns.
Now Fromm will have to fight off 5-star quarterback Justin Fields if he wants to retain his starting position in Athens. Regardless of who wins the job, the Bulldogs should have some outstanding quarterback play the next few years.
Here’s the full interview with Smart on WJOX radio in Birmingham: