You go, Jake Fromm.
Which words describe the UGA quarterback commit for 2017 best?
Country. Happy. Humble. Simple. Unassuming. That would be a daunting multiple choice question to find the right one there.
The nearly 6-foot-3 passer earned a coveted golden envelope and gold flat-bill lid at the Atlanta Nike Opening regional. That meant a slot in the famed Elite 11 quarterback derby this summer.
But those introductory props weren’t about that. They were because of the way he went about his business during drills at the Atlanta Nike Opening regional at Buford High School. He competed among the South’s top passers and also soaked up coaching in the process. His arm — despite the conditions — was one of the standards used to determine who was and was not having an issue throwing into a wind.
Fromm’s passes were on target and they sliced through the chill and wind as well as just about any quarterback from a star-studded field of future college starters. But sneak a peek just a second between reps and players trying to get warm and there was also something else to see.
“I threw decent,” said Fromm, playing the modesty card. “I threw good at times but other times not-so-well, but overall I guess I did pretty good to get this cool hat.”
The young man from Houston County was also on the clock for Kirby Smart and Georgia. Was there a vibe emerging between Fromm and four-star UGA target Nico Collins?
Yes, there was. Fromm listed him as a guy he hoped to reel in to UGA. The Houston County quarterback is an avid outdoorsman, a night fisher and a quail hunter. He seemed up to the task of trying to lure the top prospect in Alabama to join him at UGA. Collins, who hails from Clay-Chalkville High in North Birmingham, also earned an invitation to “The Opening.”
“Big target and really long,” Fromm said. “That guy can really go up and get a football. .. I love throwing the ball to him already. It’s easy.”
That’s all well and good. But how did that take with Collins?
“I just really got to know him and got a vibe with him today,” Collins said. “During routes on air throwing together he was my quarterback. We had the vibe together today. So I guess I really know now I will take my official visit down there and spend time with both Jake and Jacob (Eason) at Georgia. Those seem like two real good quarterbacks to play with.”
If one was paying attention, it started with little stuff.
“Good route,” said Fromm, who is rated as the nation’s No. 53 prospect for 2017.
“Way to throw the ball,” Collins replied.
Then the next rep would be a comeback.
“I knew I would have to turn my head around quick because that ball comes in there pretty fast with lots of velocity,” Collins said.
That’s Chemistry 101. Another way for a quarterback like Fromm to get better is to find the big talents, like a 6-foot-5 receiver who is rated the best player in Alabama, and assess their skills. If the skills match the hype, that can only become a mutually beneficial relationship.
“I can see myself going to college and playing with a guy like Jake as my quarterback,” Collins said. “He’s got what you want to play with.”
Collins, the nation’s No. 67 overall recruit in his own right, said the Opening invitation was a dream come true as he grew up watching the competition on TV. He’s already planning a trip back to UGA for the spring game.
That will be his fourth trip to UGA in the last year. Alabama, Clemson, Florida State and Michigan are the other major contenders for his decision.
Fromm also said that he hoped to lure Mary Persons defensive end Malik Herring (good shot there) and Clemson commitment Amari Rodgers (not so much) to UGA, too.
He’s more than happy to fill that role as a player/recruiter for the Class of 2017. He’s got help. UGA 4-star commit Richard LeCounte III is trying to practically lock up every defensive back and receiver he possibly can. Jaden Hunter, another early commit, seems ready to work on a few elite defensive players, too.
Somebody has to take care of the offense. Sign Fromm up.
“I’m ready to be as much of a recruiter for the University of Georgia as the coaches want me to be,” Fromm said. “I want to take on that role and do as much for them as they are going to do for me. They are giving me a scholarship and I want to help us be successful in any way possible. That’s what it is all about.”
He will enroll early.
“I can’t wait to be in Athens,” Fromm said.
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.