Ever since the 2016 college football season ended and the focus turned to recruiting, one particular incoming class of 2017 Georgia signee, Jake Fromm, has been at the center of many a message board, Twitter, and water cooler discussion.
The topic of that discussion has been whether or not the incoming freshman quarterback, who has already enrolled early in Athens, can challenge incumbent Jacob Eason, who is coming off his freshman season with the Bulldogs. Eason came to UGA as part of last year’s signing class and was a much heralded 5-star prospect out of Lake Stevens High School from the West Coast state of Washington. Despite the fact that Eason threw for 2,430 yards and 16 touchdowns to only 8 interceptions while starting 12 of the Bulldogs’ 13 games, there has been a debate among both analyst, fans, and media as to how well number 10 played.
As is often the case when it comes to quarterbacks, the new guy or the backup is a fan favorite. If you go back to Aaron Murray’s time here at Georgia, when he struggled during a game, you would find a number of fans wanting the coaching staff to bench Murray and put in backup Hutson Mason. When Mason did get the nod after Murray went down with a season-ending knee injury in the Kentucky game during the 2013 season, fans wanted Faton Bauta to be given a shot when Mason has his struggles. That continued during the 2014 season after Murray departed to the NFL and Mason took the signal calling helm by the reigns, as fans debated why Faton Bauta or Brice Ramsey could be a potential better option. Hudson ended up finishing his senior campaign with over 2,000 passing yards and throwing 21 touchdowns to just 4 picks.
It seems that some things never change. While Jake Fromm is going to be given every opportunity to compete with Jacob Eason for the right to start at quarterback, and he certainly has a ton of potential and talent, realistically, it is not easy for a true freshman to come in and play in the SEC. As good as Aaron Murray was, he redshirted in 2009, and there have been many comparisons to Fromm and Murray.
Although Eason did not start the first game of the 2016 season, he came in and played most of the game, and then never looked back, starting Georgia’s 12 remaining games. He has the benefit of playing one season in the SEC, taking his lumps along the way, and that has been an invaluable learning experience. As good as it is to get practices in, nothing beats what a player learns by playing in an actual live game. Nothing comes close to simulating the speed of the game in the SEC nor the punishing brutality of the hits. “Skinny” weathered that test and passed.
But competition is a good thing regardless of whether Jacob Eason or Jake Fromm wins the start. They will push each other and that should make both better players. There is also a plus of having depth at the quarterback position just in case the starter goes down with an injury. You would have to go back to 2009-2010 when Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger were battling in the spring to have similar talent at the quarterback position on the Georgia roster. Before that, you’d have to go all the way back a decade, to the early 2000s and when the Bulldogs had David Greene and DJ Shockley.
Yes. The quarterback battle this spring will be fun to watch as well as in Fall Camp. The debate of who will start will carry on. It’s what we do as fans. I don’t know who will be named the starter against Appalachian State on Saturday, September 2nd, but my money is on Jacob Eason; although, I think it will be close. Fromm is that good. But whichever signal caller ends up being the backup, they should enjoy being the fan favorite while it lasts.
Fansided’s John David Butler via Dawn of the Dawg shares his thoughts on what Georgia fans can expect from Jake Fromm.