Plenty of praise to go around for Jake Fromm, Georgia offense after SEC title game
ATLANTA — Every morning, Jake Fromm wakes up and opens the Bible. Every morning, it’s a different scripture. Every morning, it’s a different message.
On the morning of the SEC Championship Game, Jake Fromm read from John 17. He read about one of Jesus’ prayers, asking to “glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you.”
Fromm is not one to draw attention to himself, and he’s not a player who likes the focus to be on his own play. And that was on display after Georgia’s 28-7 win over Auburn on Saturday.
After the win, when the confetti stopped falling, when the celebration was just getting started, Fromm sat in front of his locker surrounded by media members for the first time this season. While many questions were asked about Fromm individually, every answer reverted to two foundations: Fromm wants to glorify God in all that he does, and Fromm wants to glorify his teammates for all that they do.
He said that very little credit should go to him.
“I was extremely confident in the guys around me,” Fromm said. “Those guys know what they are doing, they play great. At the end of the day, they have my back. I was just taking it in [Saturday], and I wasn’t too nervous at all.”
Minute after minute passed, and Fromm kept finding new ways to give credit to the other players in the locker room. And a lot of the comments he gave were unprompted.
For his offensive line:
“They’re always there, taking care of me,” Fromm said. “I’m always like, ‘Guys, I’m good. I’m a big boy, too,’ but those guys still take care of me.”
To his receivers:
“If I could throw the ball to all of them at the same time, I would,” Fromm said. “It’s honestly tough sometimes when you are out there and you get in man coverage. You have to ask, ‘OK, who do I throw it to?’ because these guys are all getting open against great matchups.”
To offensive coordinator Jim Chaney (with a little praise for the position players listed above, too):
“Coach Chaney has put me in great situations,” Fromm said. “Right now, we are converting on third downs, and it’s a lot for our offensive line, running or passing, they give me great time and the guys out wide are making great plays.”
To even the MVP of the game, Roquan Smith:
“Guys are playing at the top of their ability right now,” Fromm said, looking around the locker room. “Look at Roquan. He is in on every single tackle and it’s crazy sitting on the sideline and watching him play and say, ‘Man, there’s Roquan again.’”
Coach Kirby Smart definitely gave praise to Fromm.
“I don’t think enough can be said about the response he had,” Smart said about his freshman QB. “He makes a lot of decisions to put these guys in the right play. He really runs the offense efficiently. He made some throws — I don’t even know what his numbers were. 16 of 22, there you go. That’s pretty good numbers for a freshman in an SEC championship.”
And Smart was right, Fromm ended the SEC Championship Game, completing 16 of his 22 pass attempts, like Smart said, for 183 yards and 2 touchdowns.
At one point during the game, Fromm connected on nine consecutive passes to various receivers. This stat, of course, Fromm was completely in the dark about.
He had to be told.
“I am going to be honest with you, I had no idea I had nine straight completions,” Fromm said. “At that point it was just about getting the ball out. Get the ball to the playmakers and keep rolling. At the end of the day, get the ball to the playmakers, make them make the plays.”
But what does his playmakers have to say?
Like Smart, they were quick to credit the freshman quarterback. According to Terry Godwin, trust goes a long way with Fromm and the receivers.
“I put all the trust in the world in those guys,” Godwin said. “I know whether I’m out there or any of these guys sitting beside me, we’re going to make the play, and Jake? He’s going to make the best decision and best call for us.”
But this trust didn’t happen overnight. It had to be established.
“It has definitely developed, and it’s that way with all of the receivers,” Mecole Hardman said. “Whoever is in there, we have developed a bond through practice. We keep trusting [Fromm] to throw us the ball and he trusts us to catch it.”
And whether it’s with the receivers, the offensive line or the coaches, Fromm is ready to praise anyone but himself. But he has a job out there too; he isn’t just a stick in the mud. He can get the job done, along with the other guys in the locker room.
“Jake is kind of the mailman,” Smart said. “He’s the deliverer of the package. He does a good job of that.”