Sentell’s Intel: Jake Fromm and the 12,821 reasons to look forward to his UGA career
Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way this 4-star or 5-star might lean and add a dab of perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
The page has turned for Jake Fromm after an astounding 12,821 career passing yards.
The 4-star U.S. Army All-American quarterback has played his last high school football game. His storybook year finished with an unlikely regular season ending after a must-win playoff elimination game.
Valdosta, the No. 1 team in Class AAAAAA, beat Houston County 28-24 on Friday night. As per the norm this year, a documentary film crew was there to film his final high school game. Fromm and his Bears finished their season with a 7-3 record.
Those three losses came in region play. That’s how a team which started the year rated No. 1 in Class AAAAAA and surged out to a 6-0 start did not qualify for the postseason. Houston County was a part of a region that saw four other teams prove they were good enough to crack the state’s top 10 this year.
The Bears had a young defense and were forced to score a lot of points to win. That recipe for success came up short against those top 10 teams on the schedule.
Georgia High School Football Daily reports Fromm only threw for 174 yards against Valdosta. That meant he fell 256 yards shy (unofficially) of reaching Clemson Heisman Trophy candidate Deshaun Watson’s state record for career passing yards.
It is worth noting Fromm threw for his 12,821 career yards in just 46 games. That’s 10 fewer games than Watson played in for Gainesville High.
That film crew was there to capture it all. The highs of taking a 24-7 lead against Valdosta, but then all those tears that flowed from misty eyes in the fieldhouse afterward.
Fromm and Houston County coach Von Lassiter had a private final meeting after those cameras left. They went to his office — like they had so many times in his Houston County career — and said a word of prayer.
That’s the ritual those two had established at the corner of his desk before every game of his career at Houston County.
Coach. Quarterback. Joined by their common faith. That’s where all those big games started out. That’s where it all ended, too.
It was a fitting final chapter.
“He left that place a lot better than he found it,” Lassiter said. “He left a legacy behind of a person of integrity and a person of faith and a person of hard work. That’s a person who led with class and dignity first in everything he did for Houston County. He left that program a lot better off than it was four years ago when he got here. He left us better as men in the coaching office. He left the school and community better than it was when he got here. He left something that no one can ever replace at that school.”
Another important intangible with Fromm
Fromm played against Valdosta with a severely sprained AC joint in his shoulder. It was a lot worse than he likely every let anyone know.
He suffered that injury in the second half of a 45-35 win the week prior against No. 2 Northside.
A few details were shared in order to best describe what he had endured. Lassiter said that Fromm told him earlier in the week that it felt like sharp knives jabbing into that joint. But those knives got a little bit shorter as the week went by.
Was he at 100 percent? No. Lassiter feels that Fromm even at 80 percent is very good. He said Fromm at 90 percent would be extraordinary, and he had more than enough to give the Bears the chance it needed to win in his last game against Valdosta.
A couple of deep balls were affected. But that might be a combo of Valdosta’s pressure and that injured shoulder than any excuse.
“His shoulder hurt against Valdosta,” Lassiter said. “It hurt all night. He told me from the beginning it didn’t matter how bad it hurt. He said as long as there wasn’t anything structurally wrong with his shoulder that would not jeopardize anything long-term, then he was going to play. The doctors told him that there was nothing that was going to injure his shoulder anymore. He told me not to worry about it. He was playing this week.”
Lassiter said he could tell it affected Fromm during pregame drills. But then he said he somehow didn’t let it affect the game or the calls against the state’s top-ranked team.
“But during the game, he did what he had to do,” Lassiter said. “He gave us everything he had. I just think that Valdosta is what they are. They are very good on defense. … They did some things early that we took advantage of and then they started bringing four guys instead of a 3-man front. They are just very good up front. They brought pressure. We couldn’t throw the deep ball. It wasn’t because of his shoulder or anything like that. It was just the way they played us and the talent that team had. We just flat-out got beat. It wasn’t anything to do with his shoulder or anything like that. They were better than us. Unfortunately.”
When Fromm received his U.S. All-American jersey on Wednesday prior to the Valdosta game, he told me that shoulder was at about 60-65 percent. He tried to sling it around at practice later that afternoon but tapped out about after approximately six attempts.
Constant rehab and therapy and ice ensued. He likely called on a lot of ibuprofen, too.
Lassiter said he never could remember Fromm missing a play for Houston County while a game was in doubt.
The only missed snap of his career came Friday night against Valdosta. It had nothing to do with that aching shoulder.
He was forced out after he lost his helmet. Fromm, per National Federation of State High School Association rule, had to leave the game for one play after he was separated from his headgear.
3 quick things to know about Walter Grant’s commitment
Cairo 4-star OLB Walter Grant committed to UGA on Friday night. He grew up looking to Alabama as his dream school, but the Bulldogs won his commitment by showing they valued his skills more than the Crimson Tide.
Did Alabama still want Grant? Cairo coach Steve DeVoursney told DawgNation that Alabama wanted him to postpone his decision. They wanted him to come to Tuscaloosa for an official visit before he made up his mind.
That never happened, even though Alabama assistant Derrick Ansley had done a great job in recruiting him. Ansley had strong ties to Grant. He was the first coach to offer Grant a scholarship when he was recruiting him at Kentucky.
Grant told DawgNation his recruiting was over. He does not plan to take any more visits. That’s a significant reflection of how well Georgia and his lead recruiter Kevin Sherrer have recruited him.
There’s also a chance now that he might enroll early. Grant and his family only need to raise his ACT score slightly and he will be able to enroll early. He’s never used any prep classes before to take that exam but he now will utilize that method to achieve that qualifying score.
The plan is to get him to UGA as soon as possible.
The latest evaluations from the analysts at 247Sports are out. As per the norm, the quality work done by that site should be pointed out.
They’ve upgraded their assessment on several UGA commitments and priority targets:
- Fromm moved up from No. 51 nationally to No. 38. He’s now the No. 3 player in Georgia and also checks in as the No. 3 pro-style QB prospect in the Class of 2017.
- Grant had been assessed as the nation’s No. 539 overall prospect for 2017. He’s now rated at No. 240 nationally in this year’s signing class.
- 4-star OL commitment Netori Johnson moved from No. 133 to No. 101 overall.
- Towers senior DT Devonte Wyatt definitely got his due. He added a fourth star as his 247 rating shot up considerably. Wyatt had been rated as the nation’s No. 1012 player overall but soared all the way up to a No. 158 national ranking.
- Lee County 4-star DT prospect Aubrey Solomon is not a commitment, but he saw his 247Sports ranking rise from No. 111 to No. 42 nationally.
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Follow Jeff Sentell on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.