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Jake Fromm declared for the 2020 NFL Draft.

Why Jake Fromm is the embodiment of modern Georgia football

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Why Jake Fromm is the embodiment of modern Georgia football

Now that his college career has come to an end, it’s pretty easy to say we knew what Jake Fromm was. He was going to have Georgia lined up in the right play. He rarely was going to lose you a game. He was going to beat Florida and win the SEC East for that matter.

He wasn’t in that same elite neighborhood as say a Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa or 2019 versions of Joe Burrow and Justin Fields. And yet, he was still plenty good enough to nearly lead Georgia to a national title in his freshman season.

Of the 42 games he started at Georgia, the Bulldogs weren’t a top-10 team for only three of them. Those were his first three starts and Georgia beat two ranked teams in those three games. From essentially his first game on the road against Notre Dame, Fromm elevated the status of the program to new and consistent heights.

Fromm will leave Georgia with many accolades and accomplishments. He threw 78 touchdowns to just 18 interceptions while completing a school-record 63.2 percent of his passes. He went 35-7 as a starter for the Bulldogs.

And yet, Fromm’s career will largely be remembered for not clearing that final hurdle. For being good, but rarely elite.

Related: Social media reacts to news of Jake Fromm departure, Cade Mays family lawsuit

Critics will be quick to point out the 0-4 record against LSU and Alabama. Or that he played behind great offensive lines with even greater running backs in Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and D’Andre Swift.

As a recruit, Fromm was rated as the No. 44 overall player in the 2017 class, right on the fringe of being a 5-star prospect. It was clear he was still a very, very good prospect, which is why he was an Alabama commit before flipping to Georgia prior to Kirby Smart’s first game as a head coach. But even then, Fromm didn’t get to enjoy the status of being an elite, 5-star recruit.

Fromm did go on to beat out two 5-star recruits in his time at Georgia, as he wrestled the job away from Jacob Eason as a freshman and then kept it away from Justin Fields as a sophomore. Those two undoubtedly have better athletic traits than Fromm. But because of Fromm’s approach to the mental side of the game, as well as his coachability, it was easy to understand why a coach like Smart might be willing to stick with Fromm.

Fromm even thanked Smart for that level of trust in his declaration for the 2020 NFL Draft.

“Thank you to coach Smart who always believed in me and who over the last years helped grow that wide-eyed, scared 18-year old kid who got handed the ball in South Bend into a better man, and secondly a better football player,” Fromm wrote.

He didn’t turn the ball over, especially in his final season at Georgia where he threw an interception in just two of Georgia’s 14 games. The problem was that in the two games he did throw an interception, he threw a total of five and Georgia lost both of those games.

In his two games against Alabama, the Bulldogs scored 0 points in the fourth quarter. But Fromm had done enough in the first three quarters to give Georgia a lead in each game. It wasn’t his fault a safety blew a coverage or the outside linebackers couldn’t contain Jalen Hurts.

Fromm played a key part in getting Georgia even closer to winning a national title. Closer than more popular quarterbacks like David Greene, Matthew Stafford, DJ Shockley and Aaron Murray. But at a place like Georgia, where getting close only to be dropped through a trap door into a pit of misery seems commonplace, close isn’t tolerated all that much.

As we get farther away from the decision, there will likely be a great public appreciation for what Fromm was able to accomplish. He became the first Georgia starter to win three straight SEC East titles. He helped lead the team to an iconic win in the Rose Bowl and make for a memorable night in Sanford Stadium against Notre Dame.

Fans didn’t fully appreciate Murray or Stafford until Georgia had to find replacements for them. And finding a guy to replace and replicate what Fromm did will be no easy task, whether it be Stetson Bennett, Carson Beck, D’Wan Mathis or graduate transfer quarterback to be named later attempting to do so.

Related: What options Georgia football might have if it goes to the transfer portal for a quarterback

The worst thing you can say about Fromm in his time at Georgia is that for almost the majority of his Georgia career he was very good. If you want to knit pick him for not being a transcendent quarterback, you can’t really be stopped.

No one will ever remark that Chubb, Michel or Swift failed to lead Georgia to a title, but such is the burden of being a quarterback at a place like Georgia.

And that’s a burden Fromm handled better than just about anyone could’ve asked.

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