UGA Football

'The quarterback whisperer' is a big believer in Georgia's two signal callers

Georgia quarterbacks Jake Fromm (11) and Justin Fields (1) warm up prior to the Bulldogs' spring game in April.
Georgia quarterbacks Jake Fromm (11) and Justin Fields (1) warm up prior to the Bulldogs' spring game in April. jvorhees@macon.com

He penned a book titled “The Quarterback Whisperer,” based on his career tutoring the position as an NFL assistant and head coach. He has mentored some of the game's greats, including Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer.

Bruce Arians knows a thing or two about what makes a quarterback great.

Arians, the former Arizona Cardinals head coach who retired after the 2017 season, hosted his annual Georgia Celebrity Golf Classic Monday at Lake Oconee, which is where he also owns a home. Spending much more time in Greensboro now that he is retired, he was able to take a trip to Athens this past spring to take in a Georgia practice.

In doing so, Arians liked what he saw from Georgia’s quarterback position with both sophomore Jake Fromm and freshman Justin Fields.

“They've got two quarterbacks that can flat play,” Arians said.

Rick Scuteri - AP.jpg
Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. Rick Scuteri AP

Arians spoke to reporters about Georgia’s quarterbacks at his charity event, which benefits the organization CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). While Fields will continue to push for playing time, Arians came away impressed with Fromm’s leadership in all facets of his game and demeanor.

“I'm amazed at Jake, his command of the team, not just on the field,” Arians said. “When I was sitting in the team meeting room, he walked in and you could tell it was his team at such a young age. The young quarterback (Fields) is just an unbelievable athlete. There are no worries about the quarterback position at the University of Georgia.”

As a true freshman, Fromm threw for 2,615 yards, 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Fromm, who took over the starting job after Jacob Eason injured his knee in the 2017 opener against Appalachian State, led Georgia to its first national championship appearance since the 1982 season.

Fields was a consensus top-two rated recruit nationally and enrolled at Georgia in January. Fields earned valuable practice time this spring and competed with the second team at Georgia’s G-Day spring intrasquad scrimmage.

While Arians said there weren’t any concerns about Georgia’s quarterback room, the only worry would be if both suffer an unexpected injury. Fromm and Fields are the only scholarship quarterbacks on the 2018 roster.

That stated, there is no denying the kind of talent both young quarterbacks have to offer at the position. Former Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley, who led the Bulldogs to an SEC title in 2005, believes Fields adds another dynamic to the quarterback room.

“I've gotten to know Fields since he's been there,” Shockley said. “He's a smart kid. He's a big, athletic kid already. Fromm is the type where he's not going to lie down for anybody. He's going to work hard. He's going to work his butt off.”

Shockley added that both Fromm and Fields should continue to challenge each other during practice throughout the 2018 season.

“They're going to both compete, and they're going to push each other to be probably two of the best in the country, and that's going to make the whole team better,” Shockley said. “I love the room. I love the competition. I love having two five stars in the room to make the team better, and each guy has to push their self each and every day. That guy can be taking your spot.”

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