Kirby Smart just picked up the biggest recruiting flip since taking the Georgia job.
On Thursday, Houston County quarterback Jake Fromm announced he has decided to de-commit from Alabama and pledge to his home-state team. Fromm, the state of Georgia’s Gatorade Player of the Year, is the program’s sixth commitment in the class of 2017.
Officially a Dawg!! Feels good to be home!!!pic.twitter.com/zvc6zuGEd9— Jake Fromm (@FrommJake) March 3, 2016
Fromm is considered a four-star prospect, according to the 247Sports.com composite and is ranked the fourth-best pro-style passer in the country.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Telegraph
“This was an incredibly hard decision to make, and my family ,and I think it is the right one,” Fromm wrote in a statement posted on his Twitter account.
As recently as December, it didn’t seem like Georgia would be able to pry Fromm away from Alabama. Fromm was one of the first recruits Smart offered after becoming Georgia’s football head coach, and back then, it appeared the Bulldogs were a little late to the party.
At the time, Fromm was “100 percent committed to Alabama.” Now that some time has passed and Smart was able to recruit him further, Fromm has had a change of heart with his college decision.
Houston County head coach Von Lassiter said that as time went on, Georgia’s coaches were able to build a strong relationship with Fromm. While he already knew Smart when he was at Alabama, Fromm’s bond with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney developed and helped spur the change in commitment.
“The weeks of Coach Chaney recruiting him, and building those relationships with those guys, it’s been something that’s helped as far as getting to Georgia,” Lassiter said.
Fromm grew up a big Georgia fan but never received an offer from former head coach Mark Richt and the previous staff. Not thinking he would get one, he decided to commit to Alabama to focus primarily on his junior season of football. Once Richt was fired and Smart took the job, things changed, with Smart sending one of his first offers to Fromm.
Fromm elected to wait but ultimately decided he wanted to play for the in-state program he grew up admiring.
“I think it’s something he’s been dealing with a while now, since he got offered by Georgia,” Lassiter said. “I think when you grow up in the state of Georgia and you’re a Bulldog fan, it’s tough, especially when that opportunity is put in your face. Since Coach Smart got there, they’ve been recruiting Jake pretty hard.”
Georgia and Alabama were the only two programs Fromm was considering, despite the fact he has offers from a slew of other schools including Mississippi and Michigan State. Fromm will graduate in December and enroll early at Georgia.
Fromm is now the second Alabama commitment Smart has been able to flip, with incoming freshman receiver Tyler Simmons being the first.
Fromm’s addition is huge for a Georgia program that’s thin at the quarterback position in terms of numbers. For the 2016 season, only three quarterbacks with scholarships will be on the roster, and one of those will be rising-senior Greyson Lambert. Rising-junior Brice Ramsey and freshman Jacob Eason are the other quarterbacks on the roster.
Fromm led Houston County to the GHSA Class AAAAA quarterfinals before his team fell at 59-47 Allatoona.
Fromm was nothing short of spectacular during the 2015 season. In 13 games, Fromm threw for 4,099 yards, 36 touchdowns and six interceptions. In three years at Houston County, Fromm has totaled 8,835 yards and 75 touchdowns, which ranks fourth and 13th, respectively, on the state of Georgia’s all-time list.