Fromm gets his chance but assumptions about Georgia’s quarterbacks premature

Georgia quarterbacks Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm warm up before the Appalachian State game. Eason was injured early and Fromm took over, leading the Bulldogs to a victory. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

ATHENS — Jake Fromm is the flavor of the week. Next week: yet to be determined.

This isn’t meant to diminish the performance of the Georgia freshman quarterback against Appalachian State, or suggest Fromm isn’t going to ultimately win the starting quarterback job over Jacob Eason. But situations involving 19-year-olds tend to be in perpetual flux. So let’s hold off on the coronation.

We will learn significantly more about Fromm in the next game than we did in the last one. There are the obvious reasons: It’s a road game against a major program, Notre Dame,  not a home game against a Sun Belt team being paid to be there. Then there are the unknowns: Fromm performed well (10 for 15, 143 yards, one touchdown) in extraordinary circumstances, having to come off the bench in the season opener, when he wasn’t expected to leave the sideline.

The surprise element can work both ways. In short, when you don’t have time to think,  it can be a benefit.

Fromm likely has known since Saturday that he will start at Notre Dame. Theoretically, he should be better prepared mentally, as well as physically, for the game, taking the majority of the snaps with the first-team offense in practice. What remains to be seen is how he responds to that buildup.

Again: He’s 19. It’s his first start. Everybody knows it. Notre Dame coaches will have film on him and they’ll have a plan.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Eason has a left knee sprain and his status is, “week to week.”

“Week to week” is the new indefinite. “Week to week” is, “You’ll get the truth when you pry it from my cold lips.”

Smart on Fromm: “I thought he came in and managed the situation well. Every situation is different because App State obviously wasn’t planning for him.”

Smart walked the line Monday, as he should. He said he was “disappointed” for Eason, referencing his work ethic, off-season growth and improvement.

“And he really didn’t get to showcase that the other day,” said Smart.

Smart obviously hasn’t been on Twitter.

When Eason went 1-for-3 in his abbreviated start, fans were done with him. Because 1-for-3 projects to 11-for-33. And a scoreless game projects to Georgia getting shut out.

Jacob Eason: You are yesterday’s five-star.

Jacob Fromm: You are now Roger Staubach.

Want to gauge a fan’s consistency? Toss a ping-pong ball into a wind tunnel.

Smart praised Fromm. But he appropriately kept the focus on this game and not beyond. (Just guessing: Eason’s injury will keep him out at least a month.) This isn’t the time for assumptions or projections, at least not internally.

Fans — have at it. As I wrote Sunday, grand proclamations on either Eason or Fromm now is premature message board silliness.

Eason is the same kid who caused recruiting zombies to drop to their knees and give thanks when he signed with Georgia, despite the firing of Mark Richt, the head coach who recruited him. They contrast (their own unrealistic) expectations with his shaky 2016 season, ignoring: 1) The usual freshman learning curve; 2) Georgia’s weak offensive line; 3) an unimpressive season by offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

But say this for Fromm. He’s popular. Players love him. Coaches love him. Fans love him … because he’s the other guy.

From Smart: “Jake is a gamer. He grew up around the game. I’d compare him to a coach’s son, a football junkie. He’s always cheering and fired up. Every time he makes a good throw in practice he’s always jacked up, and he’s as excited for the kid who made the play as he is himself.”

From safety J.R. Reed: “He has the ‘it’ factor.”

From wide receiver Javon Wims: “I saw it in the spring. I thought, OK this kid might be really good.”

From linebacker Davin Bellamy: “If you knew how well this guy prepares. And he’s a student of the game. I mean, the guy’s the real deal. So (his performance) didn’t surprise me because he prepared so well. He has the tools along with the mindset.”

But the most impressive thing about Fromm might just be that he’s here: He was widely recruited himself but chose to come to Georgia, despite the fact Eason already was on campus.

“I don’t think Jake Fromm cares about the depth chart,” Smart said. “The best quarterbacks I’ve been around are those who don’t care, and I don’t think he ever cared. He’s pretty confident in himself. The best ones are.”

That’s the best reason for Georgia to feel good about Fromm. As for the rest, we’ll have to actually wait for the games.

EARLIER: Falcons have line depth so Hageman suddenly wasn’t worth trouble

EARLIER:  Other than injury, thoughts of replacing Jacob Eason are silly

Subscribe to the,We Never Played The Game” podcast with the AJC’s Jeff Schultz and WSB’s Zach Klein on iTunes. Episodes also can be downloaded from on-demand link on WSBRadio.com.

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46 comments
HonkyKat99
HonkyKat99

Doesn't matter if its Fromm or Caitlin Eason under center against the Irish.....UGA is going to get spanked. Personally I cannot wait to watch the @$$whoopin.

DoubleDawg
DoubleDawg

Fromm looked better than Eason.  Quicker reads and crisp throws (not all but moreso than Eason) but there is no way we want a true freshman starting his first game on the road in south bend.  Eason needs to learn to just play the game- don't over think it.  If he can settle and go through his reads with composure he will be fine.  Fromm seems to be better suited to be uncomfortable in the pocket and still throw catchable balls to his WR's.  Saturday will be interesting on many levels...

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Schultzie, Don't forget that Jacob Eason was recruited for 3 years by Mark Richt, not Smart. Give the Eason kid credit for keeping his commitment to UGa. But Smart may not be as committed to keeping Eason as #1 QB ,he may be more loyal to the player he recruited ,Fromm. As much hype as the Eason kid received ,it will be difficult for him to live up to the expectations of the UGa fans. 

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO Ride those coattails Bucky! Feel bad for ex Buckeye asst.Coach Tom Herman, Texas must really suck. Houston may still be the best FBS football team in Texas.

mike the man
mike the man

Eason still has a ton on potential.


But whoever made him think that he is "mobile" needs to be exiled from Athens.  Eason had happy feet on the first play of the game against a Sun Belt opponent.  That does not bode well against SEC defenses.


You are not a mobile quarterback, Jacob.  You are, with all due respect, a "statue".  


There's nothing wrong with that.  Tom Brady is also a "statue".  Stand in the pocket, keep your eyes up looking for a receiver to break open, and hit him in stride.


Stop wanting to scramble the instant you take the snap.  It's not your thing.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@mike the man Eason is  still shell shocked from playing behind a very poor O-line in 2016.Fromm will face a better test this week against Notre Dame, see how the freshman QB handles playing on the road. However,  I still think if Eason loses the starting QB job he will transfer, possibly to a team in southern Florida.

TideDawg
TideDawg

Fromm proved one thing Sat. .....He's a quality backup. Not many teams can lose their #1 guy at QB and bring in a freshman that can play. Eason and Fromm were neck and neck in the spring. They were the same when fall practice started. They're still the same. Eason is still #1. Nothing has changed that other than the injury. Hopefully he'll be back to start the meaningless Samford game. The best news for Ga. is the team seems to be confident with either QB playing. Having watched ND over the years, they will try to knock Fromm out of the game....one way or the other(Smart had better make sure Fromm's backup is ready). Look for a few breakout brawls during the game.

_Haven_
_Haven_

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OH:IO
OH:IO

I think I'm going to change Chuck and Duck to Mop-Up. 

FlatTire
FlatTire

I will have to agree with a lot in this article.


If we lose this weekend (I think we will by the way because of points 2 and 3); and then lose a few more, the typical UGA fan will be moving on from Fromm to Justin Fields just like Stafford and Cox  Murray to Hutson Mason; Jasper Sanks, Ealey, Crowell etc

Covfefe22
Covfefe22

I'm not judging Eason on 1 for 3.  I'm judging him on being 14 games into his career, and still looking shaky as hell.  As for the defense "not planning for Fromm", it's not like he started running the option out there; he's also a pro-style QB.

ZAZ
ZAZ

@Covfefe22 He looked shaky, slow, uncoordinated and lumbering.......

JKToole
JKToole

@Covfefe22 13 games and what 10 minutes? Almost all played as an 18 year old, true freshman.

What's the reason he was the number #1 starter? Are you doubting Kirby too?

Covfefe22
Covfefe22

@JKToole @Covfefe22 In case you haven't seen any Heisman ceremonies in the past few years, there are plenty of freshman QBs that are able to ramp up rather quickly.  How many more games does Eason have to stumble through before you'd be willing to consider another option?  He was the number 1 starter because the job was his to lose, and he may have just lost it.

kerryb
kerryb

@Covfefe22 So you passed that judgement on viewing two series and a couple of plays where we mostly ran the ball.  People like this is what gives Georgia fans a bad name and people make fun of them for it.

JKToole
JKToole

@Covfefe22 @JKToole You're talking about Manziel? McCoy?

Besides those two, compare any of Eason's frosh stats to these freshman sensations you must be talking about like Lock for example.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Chuck and Duck needs to get a haircut while he has the time. 


See Jake for a barber recccomendation. 


Ohio State has one in the football facility. Just sayin'

tipstotips
tipstotips

@OH:IO  Did they have a drug dispensary so Ezekiel wouldn't have to travel far to get them? 

JKToole
JKToole

@OH:IO  Is it next door to the Tressell Tattoo Shop or right behind the Art Schlichter Payday Loan Center?

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Big Wally @OH:IO


No, it's the dogs like you who were infatuated with the can't miss 5 star dog Savior who looking more and more like a bust. 

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO @Big Wally Look for Eason to Transfer to the U ,if he loses the starting QB job to Fromm. Afterall he was recruited for 3 years by the Right Reverend Richt.