‘I wanna be great’: Georgia QB Jake Fromm looking to win SEC, National championships this season
Jake Fromm walked into Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall to begin spring practice with a different mentality. After two years of competing for the starting quarterback job, the junior seemed as if things may be somewhat easy.
That’s not a sign of complacency from Fromm, nor is it a state of satisfaction of what Georgia has done over the last couple of seasons. He’s simply comfortable in his role, at last, and is ready to achieve his goal of winning … a lot of it. But that won’t come without a bit of a challenge, and it’s one that a lot of position groups face entering spring practice.
Georgia made a change at offensive coordinator and welcomes James Coley into the role. Head coach Kirby Smart also elevated Dan Lanning and Glenn Schumann to co-defensive coordinator positions after the loss of Mel Tucker.
So, there’s a bit of newness for Georgia’s offense, although it will follow a lot of the same principles. Fromm recently sat through a team meeting, and it suddenly became like an intriguing class lecture. Coley introduced his small tweaks to the playbook and implemented a few different methods of execution.
“I want to learn new things and I wouldn’t be opposed to changing up the terminology every single year,” Fromm said. “I want to be the best I can, and that offers a different twist. That makes me come in hungry each day. If I come into the meeting and know everything, I’m just going to be bored.”
Coley’s hire was made shortly after Jim Chaney returned to Tennessee and assumed the same role. Smart has entrusted Coley after the Miami native began his tenure with the Bulldogs as a wide receivers’ coach. Georgia won’t make any wholesale changes to its philosophy, and it knows what leads to success: running the football and doing that persistently.
Coley’s first team meeting touched on balance between the run and pass, and Smart said he has reached out to coaches across the collegiate landscape to receive new ideas. Fromm added some of the changes might not even be visible on game tape. It follows the old adage of “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
For the most part that’s true.
“We’re not going to go recreate the wheel and say, ‘OK, now we’re going to open and be an empty spread team every down and go high tempo’,” Smart said. “You do what makes you successful.”
Some of the changes include how offensive linemen read the MIKE linebacker. Coley, according to junior offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, placed an emphasis on passing efficiency on 3rd-and-7 and goal-line situations (all Georgia fans rejoice to that … probably).
“We don’t have to learn a new system. We’re all used to it,” Thomas said. “That’ll allow everybody to adjust pretty well.”
Fromm, entering his third season as the offense’s leader, isn’t concerned in the slightest. Coley called plays for him in the 2017 G-Day spring game and Fromm threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns on 14 of 23 passing. Fromm can’t remember many specifics from that scrimmage, but it gave him a positive impression of Coley’s abilities.
Nevertheless, Fromm believes it comes down to the play of himself and his teammates.
“It’s about playing together and being congruent, fluid, explosive and disciplined on offense,” Fromm said. “We have to learn to play as a team on offense. It doesn’t matter about the Xs and Os, because you can draw up any great play you want. If all 11 aren’t on the same page, then it won’t be any good.”
It may be easy in March, but Fromm knows it won’t be so simple to fulfill his desires.
“I want to be successful and win a lot of football games, win an SEC championship and win a national championship,” Fromm said. “I want to be great.”