Sentell’s Intel: The things nobody writes about Georgia commit Jake Fromm

UGA commit Jake Fromm already stands No. 2 all-time among Georgia high school quarterbacks in career passing yards.

MACON, Ga. —  Jake Fromm dissected Mary Persons in the first half on Thursday night. He threw an incompletion on his first pass but then got his scalpel out and started carving.

The Georgia quarterback commit reeled off 16 completions in his next 20 attempts against essentially eight men in coverage for 256 yards and four first-half touchdowns. His Houston County team led 20-7 after a brilliant first quarter en route to a 26-14 win.

Fromm joined his team to sing the alma mater after the big win on Friday night. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)

Fromm had 198 of his eventual 414 yards in the first quarter. His final line read 36 for 46 with those four touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Pretty dazzling debut. It is also a good time as any to share just exactly what Georgia is getting beyond the stuff everyone in the business writes about. Sure, he’s a shade over 6-foot-2 on the height chart and weighs about 215 pounds. He’s a four-star recruit and rated as the No. 55 overall prospect in America for 2017.

Fromm is also ranked as the nation’s No. 4 pro-style quarterback in his class. He’s a willing pitchman who will freely urge other top prospects to join him at Georgia.

Blah blah and blah. Last time I checked none of those things alone win championships.

When it comes to Fromm, this is what I’ve learned after following him pretty closely since he committed to Georgia about five-and-a-half months ago.

  1. The young man can throw, but that’s not going to be what will make him special at the next level.
  2. He wants to be that surgeon and the check-down guy to get his offense in rhythm, but he also wants to stick that ball in there with that rifle “the good Lord” gave him. “The aim is to be good enough to do both,” Fromm told me this week.
  3. He’s set to join a quarterback room with five-star quarterback Jacob Eason this January. The nation’s No. 1 passer for 2018 (Trevor Lawrence) could very well make it a monopoly on golden arms in Athens the following January. And while Fromm looked splendid firing balls all over California and Oregon at the Elite 11 events this summer, that arm is not his greatest tool.
  4. His best tool is his mind. The way he thinks the game will be why he plays a lot of ball in Athens no matter how much NFL Draft status everyone has in common.
  5. This is a baseball term, but he’s a four-tool quarterback. He can beat you with his arm, his mind, his heart and his teammates. What I mean by that final term is he earns the respect of his team with the way he carries himself and goes about his business. He makes guys burn to play with him, make plays for him, get him the ball back to go score and to protect him in the pocket so he can carve up defenses with the same serenity he has has holding his new 100-pound compound bow before target practice.
  6. I believe lots of coaches tell reporters across the Country that their U.S. Army All-American is a great player but a better person. That’s a money quote. But few of them actually believe it the way the coaches at Houston County do.
  7. I’ve seen Fromm throw about two dozen live touchdown passes since March. I think I’ve seen him sprint down and act like a goofy kid on Christmas to find his playmaker in the end zone at least 80 percent of the time.
  8. I think the biggest smiles I have seen out of him came as he watched the kids of the Houston County coaches play touch football in between 7-on-7 games. The only other moments that compare would involve him catching a fish.
  9. His star is well on the rise. He’s got a documentary and reality show film crew following his every move these days and yet he still can find the outlet to express his faith freely and come across as the genuine young man I first met in July of 2015. He somehow seems like the same person.
  10. His legs will never churn their way to 500 yards rushing in the SEC, but he’s got the bravado and the will to throw his 215 pounds around just far enough to move the chains in a tight spot.
  11. I think his Middle Georgia roots and the fact he loves hunting and fishing just as much as football provides just the right operating system to one day handle crunch time in the SEC.

Here’s the part where I’m going to guess what you are thinking. Well, of course, a dude who writes for a website called “DawgNation” will say all those nice things about a hot-shot quarterback on his way to Athens. So here’s the part that should read like a bibliography.

Here are a few anchor statements that back up all those conclusions:

  • Houston County coach Von Lassiter told me on Thursday night that Fromm’s football I.Q. is adept enough right now to serve as the offensive coordinator for his football team.
  • Lassiter on Fromm: “He makes me a better person. He makes everybody around him work hard. He makes me want to coach harder. I hope I do some of the same things for him, too. We all push each other to be the very best we can be on and off the field.”
  • Lassiter on Fromm: “He just likes to win. He could care less about stats or who he throws the ball to. He could care less about who gets the glory. He does not care if we run or throw it. He just wants to win. He’s a winner in every aspect of his life and he’s something special.”
  • It is clear he has total control of the offense at Houston County. He doesn’t go to the line and call the plays, but he did change the play probably five or six times on Thursday night.
  • That’s not counting what he does with sliding protections and adjusting plays at the line from a run to a pass given what he sees from the defense. Most of the run calls in his offense are tethered with a combo call for a pass. He changed the whole play just once on Thursday against the Bulldogs. The aspects of his offense that he did freely were pass routes and protections.
  • Whether or not it is called for him, he knows how to go to the line and put his Bears in a good play. That happened over and over on Thursday night.
  • Fromm said Thursday he spent about 20-30 hours this week watching every film to get ready for Mary Persons. That’s the type of commitment you want from your team leader and he would do that with or without a film crew in tow.
  • He said he watches film on his own 10-20 hours per week for a typical opponent. That’s the sort of stuff that allowed Aaron Murray to earn the trust of his coaches early in Athens. Look for him to wear Murray’s old No. 11, too.
  • When Mary Persons four-star defensive end Malik Herring met Fromm after the game on Thursday, he told Fromm that he earned his respect. Herring, who dropped Fromm twice but saw only one of those sacks count, is the nation’s No. 4 defensive end. He should join Fromm at Georgia.
Looking for flaws in his game? Well, his hair tends to stick up during games. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)

While reporters tend to bury the world in stats, I want to share three which reflect Fromm’s worth. I wanted the context of what really impresses folks who see Fromm every day to come first.

The reigning Gatorade Player of the Year in Georgia is one of only four schoolboy passers to throw for 4,000 yards in a single season.

He now has over 9,300 passing yards for his career and that places him within striking distance of Clemson All-American DeShaun Watson’s state record of 13,077 yards.

And — you probably saw this coming — he carries a 4.0 GPA and volunteers around his community and is heavily involved in the The Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Georgia is in a good spot with Trey Hill 

Deontrey Hill, Fromm’s junior teammate, is a wanted man at Georgia for the Class of 2018. He plays tackle for the Bears, but Fromm believes he will eventually join him at Georgia.

Hill shed some light on that after his performance on Thursday. He went head-to-head with Herring on a lot of snaps and Herring did get the four-star for a sack.

Hill will be an offensive guard on Saturdays. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)

He’s rated as a tackle by 247Sports, but look for him to line up at guard on Saturdays. Hill told DawgNation that he’s right at 6-foot-4 and 320 pounds. His lower body, well, is just massive. It looks like the trunk that would belong to the Hulk’s stunt double in the widely popular “Avengers” movies.

“Things are going well with my recruiting,” Hill said. “I just have to get around to Georgia and a couple more places to see how it is.”

Alabama has offered Hill. Auburn and Florida State are also expected to be major contenders for him.

“Georgia is a good spot with me,” Hill said. “I like coach (Sam) Pittman a lot. He’s a great coach and Georgia treats me well. Things are going well right now with me and Georgia. I look forward to getting back up there on another trip.”

Hill is rated as the nation’s No. 103 overall prospect for 2018.

“My decision will be around my senior year,” Hill said. “I don’t know how far I am going to stretch it out. It depends on everything I see.”

He said he doesn’t think he would make a commitment during the summer of his senior year. That sounds a little early.

“Probably not that early,” Hill said. “I really don’t know what I want to do yet.”

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