The Fromm Legacy
January 22, 2020
Warner Robins, Georgia. This suburban city of 74,000 produced one of the most accomplished and polarizing figures in Georgia sports this past decade, and his journey recently took a sharp, and notably controversial, turn.
Jake Fromm enjoyed an incredibly successful high school career at Houston County High School, but first, the nation knew his name from the 2011 Little League World Series, as his local Warner Robins team came within 2 games of a championship. He then shifted his focus to football in high school, and it proved to be a wise choice.
Fromm would go on to throw for 12,745 yards and 116 touchdowns in four seasons, and earned a 5-star rating from most major recruiting databases. He also was a star on the hit Netflix show “QB1”, which documents the stories of three highly-touted high school quarterbacks every year.. With offers from schools such as Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Miami, North Carolina and Ole Miss, the decision for one of the most-sought after QBs in the 2017 recruiting class was easy.
Fromm enrolled early at Georgia as a freshman, and the ensuing season was a roller coaster ride. An injury to then-starting QB Jacob Eason thrust Fromm into the starting role, and the rest is history.
Fromm became known for playing well beyond his years in tough wins over Notre Dame, Florida and Auburn in the SEC title game. He would lead the Bulldogs to their first College Football Playoff appearance and ultimately was one of the main reasons UGA took down Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. His cool and calm demeanor combined with great arm talent allowed him to become one of the faces of college football.
After a stellar freshman campaign, Fromm followed that up with his best statistical season as a sophomore, but the Bulldogs fell to 11-3 after losing the Sugar Bowl. Then, Fromm’s junior year happened, and things got a bit rocky.
The Georgia offense ranked 50th in the nation in scoring, a mark well below Fromm’s first two seasons at QB. The passing attack was the main culprit, as an almost entirely new group of WRs really did not develop much chemistry with their veteran signal caller until late in the season. Many of the Bulldog faithful began to attack Fromm for his poor play in some games, (ex. 3 INTs in a loss to South Carolina), and with how well former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields was playing at Ohio State, many believed UGA had made a mistake in letting Fields get away.
After a lackluster 2019 season in which Georgia did not score over 30 points in any SEC contest, Jake Fromm made the decision to declare for the 2020 NFL draft. He could have returned for his senior season for the Bulldogs and possibly made one final push for a National Championship, but he opted to leave early. Many have him tabbed as the 4th or 5th best QB in this year’s draft class, which still certainly earns him a large paycheck, but the reaction from many people across the country was negative.
Georgia fans are split on Fromm’s decision. Some believe it is the appropriate step for an elite QB to move on to the NFL and make himself and his family a lot of money. However, some linger on his struggles in 2019 and the possibility that he may fall to the second round and wonder: has he really proven that he can be a star in the NFL? The naysayers believe Fromm’s Georgia career has effectively come to a sour end–some even cheer that he is gone for hopes that a superior QB will come along in his midst.
At Milton, there is a wide range of opinions on the legacy Fromm leaves behind and his decision to leave.
Sophomore Johnny Saren has his doubts about Fromm’s future NFL career, citing him as a “game-managing QB” that “struggles to pass downfield”. Saren also noted Fromm’s lack of mobility as a reason he may struggle at a higher level, and believes he should have stayed for another season.
However, senior Olivia Holcombe has a different view point. Holcombe states that “it was a good logical decision for his career” when asked about Fromm’s choice to leave, and believes that he “left a good legacy of being a great person that worked very hard to have the success he had.”
Recently, former Wake Forest QB Jamie Newman announced his decision to transfer to Georgia. Holcombe and many other UGA fans agree that it may be best for the team to have a fresh start behind the dual-threat Newman.
Regardless of your stance on Jake Fromm’s decision to depart for the NFL early, he certainly left Georgia better off than when he arrived. He played a key role in revitalizing the Georgia football program and firmly entrenching UGA as one of college football’s premier programs after years of disappointment. Fromm finished with a 36-7 career record, but the memories he made both on the field in big games and off the field as a person will be what he is most remembered for.