ATHENS – Georgia coach Kirby Smart didn’t provide any injury updates on quarterback Jacob Eason Sunday, and it’s unlikely he’ll be very detailed when he addresses the media at his weekly news conference Monday. Regardless of what Eason’s actual status is – indications are he’ll be sidelined at least a little while – it’s likely you’ll hear Smart say something along the lines of “it’s a game-time decision.”
What you can be fairly certain of is that Jake Fromm will be the UGA starting quarterback when the Bulldogs kick off against Notre Dame Saturday night in South Bend, Ind. For that reason, you can bet the broadcast crew for NBC, which will televise the game, is scrambling to brush up on its Fromm intel right about now. The announcers probably were working pretty hard on that Jacob Eason-Tony Eason Notre Dame connection previously.
Being an Atlanta-based bunch here at DawgNation, we want to demonstrate our Southern hospitality and help out those folks. So following are some anecdotes and background on young Mr. Fromm that we’ve gathered over the last couple of years as the 4-star prospect from Houston County High School in Warner Robins, Ga., went from Alabama commit to UGA early enrollee and, now, freshman starting quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs:
- He’s a country boy. Not in the farm kind of way, but in the Central Georgia middle class kind of way. His parents, Emerson and Lee Fromm, run a family pool business established by Jake’s maternal grandfather. Lee is a nurse who works at the Coliseum Medical Center in Macon.
- Fromm loves to hunt and fish. That’s one of the reason he rooms with tight end Charlie Woerner, who is also an avid outdoorsman. Hunting and fishing were instilled in Fromm at a young age by his maternal grandfather, Bill Haskins, and they go on outings regularly. You can read a lot more about that in this Next Generation piece on Fromm last December.
- The Fromms are a close-knit and sports-oriented family. Jake is the oldest of three boys and starred at every level of athletics and in every sport. His brother, Dylan, was to succeed him as quarterback at Houston County High and his other brother, Tyler, is a 6-4 wide receiver and a college prospect in his own right. However, the twin brothers transferred to Warner Robins High School after coach Von Lassiter left Houston County. The lives of Emerson and Lee Fromm, like many sports parents, have been devoted primarily to shuttling their kids between various athletic venues and contests.
- Jake is a legendary figure in his hometown of Warner Robins. His family relocated there from Macon when he was in middle school, and he immediately became a standout player for the community’s legendary Little League baseball program. As a 13-year-old, Fromm was the star slugger on team that advanced to the Little League World Series. He also owns several baseball records at Houston County High and hit 2 home runs in his final high school game to lead his team to the state championship. In fact, it was long thought that Fromm’s future was going to be in baseball. It’s something he hasn’t closed the door on just yet.
- Fromm was one of the most prolific passer in Georgia high school history. In fact, he finished his career with 12,817 yards and 116 touchdowns in 46 games. That was just 260 yards shy of the state career record set by DeShaun Watson, and Fromm’s output came in 10 fewer games. His senior year, Fromm completed 63.7 percent of his passes for 3,910 yards and 41 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. But his team’s season ended short of the playoffs as Houston High plays in one of the toughest regions in Georgia high school football.
- Fromm could’ve attended UGA or most any school on an academic scholarship. He was an honors graduate at Houston County with a perfect 4.0 GPA in advanced placement courses. Lassiter, his high school coach, has said he believes Fromm has a photographic memory and that his mental recall is his greatest weapon. Fromm disputes that. “I wouldn’t say that,” he said. “I take a different approach to it. When I’m in class, I just try to be involved and really focus into what the teacher’s saying, just really listen. I try to pay attention in class so that way I don’t have to go home and study as much later.”
- Fromm was an Alabama commit but always wanted to go to Georgia. Coach Kirby Smart recruited him for the Crimson Tide and immediately flipped him to UGA after being named the Bulldogs coach. “I had a really great relationship with him and just really bought into everything he had to sell,” Fromm told me last December. “Really just loved his personality; my whole family loved him. It was like a perfect win-win situation for me and my family. I fell in love with the idea of going to Georgia. I’m a hometown kid, a home-state guy. I just wanted to be there, to be in Athens. I’ve got Georgia in my blood. I believe in Coach Smart. And, you know, you want to do something great that isn’t quite expected.”
- Fromm has Hollywood good looks and actually has starred on a TV show. Well, it is actually a webisode series called QB1 – Beyond The Lights, created by Friday Night Lights producer Peter Berg. You can still watch the show. He was one of three high-profile recruits, including Ohio State signee Tate Martell and Wake Forest signee Tayvon Bowers, that a film crew followed throughout their entire senior seasons.
- The most common remark heard after Fromm’s debut for Georgia – in which he had 143 yards on 10-of-15 passing and a touchdown — was how much he looked like former Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray. Physically they look alike and, of course, Fromm wears the same No. 11 jersey Murray wore with the Bulldogs. Emerson Fromm said his son grew up admiring Murray, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning.
- Fromm apparently was unfazed about the events that took place Saturday night. He appeared calm and poised, and that’s what his teammates said they experienced as well. Likewise, he’s not fretting getting his first start on the road at Notre Dame Stadium. “Honestly, he’s used to playing football,” his father said in a short phone call Sunday. “It’s just another day for him. It doesn’t really bother him a whole lot.”
- Fromm’s whole family will be there to support him in South Bend. As luck would have it, Warner Robins has a bye this week, and the Fromms are among thousands of Georgia fans flocking to Chicago for a sports-filled weekend. They will attend the Notre Dame game on Saturday but also the Chicago Cubs-Milwaukee Brewers game on Friday night at Wrigley Field and the Chicago Bears-Atlanta Falcons game on Sunday at Soldier Field.
So that’s about everything I can think to tell you and NBC about Jake Fromm at this point. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound quarterback surely will add some chapters to his storybook athletic career in the coming days and weeks.
We’ll be there to chronicle it for you.