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SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Georgia fans probably never thought they needed to hear what the coach of a high school team in Kentucky had to say about Jake Fromm.
Kevin Wallace has actually only seen Georgia’s new quarterback play one game. Ever.
But that was enough.
Wallace leads a Bowling Green High School team that’s pretty dog-gone good in its own right. His Purples went 15-0 this year, averaged a gaudy 48.5 points per game and won another state title.
His teams have gone 84-3 over the last six years. They’ve won five state titles. The nation’s best are tapped to be on the U.S. Army All-American coaching staff, too.
UGA freshman QB Jake Fromm earned the start in the U.S. Army All-American Game and was also named one of the team captains prior to the game. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)
Wallace served as the offensive coordinator for the East team in Texas. We’ll let him take the reins of the story from here.
“The first night I got here I gave my quarterbacks a booklet of all of our route stuff,” Wallace said. “I knew it was going to be difficult to teach. We only had four real practices.”
Something came up the first day they hit the practice field.
“We are running a route,” Wallace said. “That’s not normally something we use back home. I got ready to run it and I was teaching progression off it and I got to the backside and I got the two routes mixed up.”
But another member of the team had his back. He was able to correct that.
It wasn’t one of his fellow All-American coaches. It was Fromm.
“Jake goes ‘Coach, I’m sorry but that’s not right here’ and then said ‘You had it the other way’ and I was like ‘Oh my goodness you know what you are right’ and he was right to say that,” Wallace said.
Fromm was handed that booklet on Sunday night. He already knew it by Monday morning.
“Think about this now,” Wallace said. “I hand it to him on Sunday night when he’s just getting here and he’s meeting everybody. I wouldn’t have expected him to go in and really study it. But this was just a nondescript route that was back in the back of the playbook. For him to know that, I thought that was a special thing.”
Fromm will do his homework. Even on the first day. When the team began installing things he was acting as another coach on the field and did not need extra help from the coaches.
Jake Fromm is currently rated as the nation’s No. 3 Pro-Style QB for the Class of 2017. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)
“He had an idea of what everybody was supposed to do on Day 1,” Wallace said. “I don’t know that we had anybody else that did that. He’s got an ‘it’ factor to him. You see it on the first day you meet him and then you see it over and over again every day after that. It is not just that he has the charisma and all of the leadership. This young man’s knowledge of the game and understanding of the game is really special.”
That’s why he was essentially a lock to start the game by the second practice. Because he knew it and then he made sure that very few balls hit the ground when he had to rep those plays that were already ingrained in his head.
Fromm’s high school coach Von Lassiter has championed for awhile now that the new UGA freshman has a photographic memory. He’s told DawgNation that Fromm could be his offensive coordinator right now.
Wallace noticed all of that in one week.
“Any good quarterback is going to look like he has an offensive coordinator’s head in his body,” Wallace said. “But every great quarterback is going to have that plus a lot of talent plus that ‘It’ factor that I am talking about.”
That’s how he separated himself from Alabama 4-star signee Tua Tagovailoa and Clemson signee Hunter Johnson. Tagovailoa is the nation’s top-ranked dual-threat QB this year. Johnson is a 5-star that rates as the nation’s No. 2 pro-style passer.
Both were rated ahead of Fromm. Yet Fromm earned the start because of his preparation and then having the ability to take everything he knew to the field.