Jake Fromm had a very busy Wednesday
Jake Fromm is focused and organized, which means he’s not going to be late, certainly not for practice.
But he was still in civilian clothes and in the gymnasium while most of his teammates were on a practice field Wednesday afternoon at Houston County.
This time, being late was permitted, considering the reason.
Fromm was presented with his jersey Wednesday afternoon as an invitee to the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl, whose recent alumni include Derrick Henry, Andrew Luck amd Odell Beckham Jr. and recent high school standouts like Marquez Callaway of Warner Robins (Tennessee), Christian McCaffery (Stanford) and Georgia running back Nick Chubb.
Another alumni to the all-star game is Jacob Eason, currently the incumbent quarterback at Georgia. And speaking of Eason and Georgia, Fromm’s busy day began with him getting one huge step closer to Athens by signing his financial aid paperwork in a morning ceremony, locking Georgia to Fromm.
“It was awesome, an awesome experience,” said Fromm, who listened to tributes from head coach Von Lassiter and defensive coordinator Ryan Crawford. “Four years ago, I was watching the seniors (sign). I kinda never thought I would end up having one. It’s just a crazy experience just to be there and have my own.”
There was no suspense for the morning ceremony. Fromm initially committed to Alabama but switched to Georgia not long after head coach Mark Richt was fired and Alabama assistant Kirby Smart was hired.
But the Bulldogs also had signed Eason, a five-star recruit from Washington. He graduated in December of his senior year, enrolled at Georgia last spring and was anointed the Bulldogs’ starter.
There was a faction of the Bulldogs’ fan base that wondered if the Fromm might end up changing his mind again, considering Eason’s reputation and only a year separating the two players. Wednesday’s signing moved him closer to officially being with the Bulldogs and pretty much took care of that debate.
Financial aid paperwork is different than the national letter-of-intent process. National Signing Day is Feb. 1, and Fromm — like Eason a year earlier — will have been in Athens for almost a month by then.
Still, Fromm surprised himself during the signing ceremony.
“I got kind of emotional a little bit,” said Fromm, who closed his remarks in front of family, friends and teammates after signing with “Go Dawgs, Bear down.” “It was a lot more than I expected. Honestly, I didn’t think it was going to be that big of a deal. I’m just thankful to have so many <QL>family and friends and people who have helped me so much along the way there and supporting me.”
Fromm was brief in his remarks after the Army All-American presentation in the gym in front of friends, family, a media contingent, some students and teammates.
“I want to thank my family, I want to thank all you guys for coming up here and supporting me,” he said. “I want to thank my coaches, I want to thank all my friends, and I want to especially thank my teachers for putting me in this situation.
“And I want to praise God for giving me the opportunity to be a high school football player.”
Before practice started, it had clearly been a full day.
Fromm signed the papers in the school’s media center, while the jersey presentation, by Sgt. 1st Class Jimmie Lawson and Sgt. 1st Class Kerry Glover, was held in the gym in the afternoon, starting about an hour before practice.
GHSA Region 1-6A rival Aubrey Solomon of Lee County hosted a similar ceremony Tuesday for the All-American Bowl. Other invitees this year include Vidalia’s Nate McBride, Cedar Grove’s Netori Johnson and Liberty County’s Richard LeCounte.
“It’s definitely a day that’s going to go down in the books for me,” Fromm said. “I’m so excited and so thankful to be a part of so (many great things).”
Eventually, Fromm got to go where he wanted to be the most, the practice field. After all, the biggest game of his high school career is Friday night, and that might be the final game of his high school career. All of Wednesday’s festivities were nice, but there’s work to do.
Valdosta visits Freedom Field on Friday with the state passing yardage record within Fromm’s grasp. That’s held by Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, an Army All-American Bowl invitee after his career at Gainesville during which he passed for 13,077 yards from 2010-13. Fromm has 12,647 yards after passing for 534 yards last week in a 45-35 win over then-No. 3 Northside.
Wednesday’s activities were nice, but Fromm’s priority is making sure he and his teammates take care of business at the end of the week and get a playoff spot with a win over the Region 1-6A champion.
“The season’s not over yet,” he said. “We have one more game to go, we’ve got to get into the playoffs, so we’re ready for it.”