There are many different aspects to Jake Fromm, the freshman from Houston County who is set to earn his first career start against Notre Dame Saturday.
Fromm has a mature-beyond-his-years feel to his teammates, given that his knowledge of the Georgia offense is apparently greater than most quarterbacks his age, at 19, should otherwise have. Fromm also has an excitable side that led to trash-talking the defense — as a true freshman — during summer 7-on-7 drills in the summer.
He’s a confident player, someone who thrives on competition. Whether it is a game or practice, Fromm’s approach to football doesn’t change.
Fromm has placed plenty of trust in his teammates, which has already been reciprocated. As a result, there is plenty of faith that Georgia’s offense will be just fine with Fromm under center.
“He’s so mature,” fullback Christian Payne said. “To me, it’s like he’s been out there a long time because he commands the huddle so well.”
Coming off of the bench in Saturday’s 31-10 win over Appalachian State, Fromm threw for 143 yards and a touchdown — with the score and 109 of those yards coming in the first half. Holding a 21-0 halftime lead, Georgia played conservatively in the second half as Fromm only attempted three passes.
Judging by what Fromm’s teammates had to say, he is a likable leader who earned their respect early on. Fromm wasn’t one to shy away from getting after the defense during summer workouts either. Outside linebacker Davin Bellamy said he learned quick just how serious Fromm took playing football.
“If you guys knew how well this guy prepares, as a student of the game, even in the summertime in 7-on-7,” Bellamy said. “The guy is the real deal.”
Safety J.R. Reed said Fromm first stood out during the two-minute drill in spring practice.
Repeatedly, Fromm got the best of the first-team defense and led his unit to touchdowns. It was then that Reed realized Georgia had a quality backup quarterback at its disposal.
“He has that ‘it factor;’ he can just go,” Reed said. “He seems to win it almost every time.”
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart began recruiting Fromm early back when he was the defensive coordinator at Alabama. Smart and Fromm’s family developed a strong rapport, which allowed for an eventual de-commitment from Alabama and pledge to Georgia.
Having been around him for quite a while, Smart said Fromm is cut from a different cloth than most quarterbacks his age.
“Jake is a gamer. He is a kid that grew up around the game,” Smart said. “I look at him and compare him to a coach’s son, a football junkie. He likes it. He loves being around it. He’s always cheering and fired up out there. Every time he makes a good throw or a good play in practice, he is jacked and he is as excited for the kid who made the play as he is for himself. As a defensive coach you may see him cheering and think that he’s rubbing it in, but that’s just who he is.
“He really is passionate about the game. He can’t let his emotions get in the way for him because, for him, it’s just excitement. He’s that kind of way. He’s just competitive.”
Fromm’s signature throw from Saturday’s game against Appalachian State came in the second quarter. Facing a heavy pass rush, Fromm let a pass fly high in the air in the direction of receiver Javon Wims, who had three defenders near him. Wims, however, out-jumped the opposition and came down with the football.
Wims then pivoted and dove into the end zone for a touchdown.
Wims expressed plenty of confidence in Fromm, who will be the second true freshman in as many seasons to start a game for Georgia.
“He’s a true field general,” Wims said. “At first I was shocked with how fast he picked up (the offense) as a freshman. But now he’s been doing it so long, I’m not shocked at all.”