THE BULLDOGS HAVE AN EXTREMELY FOCUSED QUARTERBACK AS PRESEASON CAMP NEARS

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THE BULLDOGS HAVE AN EXTREMELY FOCUSED QUARTERBACK AS PRESEASON CAMP NEARS

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HOOVER, ALA. —  Jake Fromm was his usual, easy-going self as he met with reporters here Tuesday at SEC Media Days.

About to embark on his third season as Georgia’s starting quarterback, Fromm discussed his own attributes as a leader of the 2019 Bulldogs while also complimenting the leadership of the two teammates that accompanied him to the Wynfrey Hotel, senior safety J.R. Reed and junior offensive tackle Andrew Thomas.

And Fromm says his team, which has captured two consecutive SEC East titles while winning the SEC championship and Rose Bowl playoff game in 2017, is ready to roll into a season where expectations for the Bulldogs are literally through the roof.

“I’ve grown a lot in learning, grown a lot in experience,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of great teammates along the way so I’m just having a real good time here, just kind of learning and getting a little better every single day. And I’ve had a lot of teammates to help me.

“J.R. and Andrew are great leaders,” Fromm said. “Andrew is a little more show-by-example, lead-by-example leader. J.R. is a little more vocal leader but both guys are very respected in the locker room, very respected at their position, great football players and even greater people.”

Jake Fromm
Jake Fromm

Fromm said he’s definitely evolved into more of a vocal leader with the Bulldogs.

“Absolutely, it’s part of the role and it’s definitely what I signed up for. There’s been a lot of times we’ve had to come together as a team and it’s made us stronger. J.R.’s doing an incredible job leading on his side of the ball. So if he keeps leading on his side of the ball and I keep leading on my side of the ball I think we’ll be doing pretty well.

“What I’m doing,” Fromm said, “I’m going to work every day, trying to teach younger guys, trying to make them learn the system which will help us in camp. It’s going to help me when guys around me are learning and know what to do. I’m trying to push guys in the weight room, make them push more weight, run more sprints and just try to become better physically and in better shape. So I’m learning to push guys and just try to become a better leader and,  really, just try to dive into the locker room and be the best teammate I can be.

“At the end of the day the coaches coach and the players play so it’s going to come down to us. The coaches are doing a great job of pushing us and making sure we’re doing what we’re supposed to do.”

Fromm said he’s not worried about the Bulldogs being able to overcome the loss of junior wide receiver Jeremiah Holloman, recently dismissed from the team after a year-old transgression off the field.

“It’s going to hurt a little bit but there’s a lot of guys left in that room who are scratching and clawing, working every single day to go and make a difference for this team this season,” Fromm said. “They’re working every single day, ready for their opportunity so we’re excited to see what they can do this season and, we’re ready to go.”

Fromm commented on two of those Bulldog wideouts who should be able to make an instant impact on the team … graduate transfer from Miami, Lawrence Cager, and highly-touted incoming freshman, George Pickens, who originally committed to Auburn.

“Both guys are great football players who are making plays this summer and can’t wait to see what they can do to help the football team,” he said. “Both are tall and fast and can make plays going up against the ball. Cager brings a little more experience and George is doing very well learning the offense.”

Fromm said there’s “a lot of great football players” in the Bulldogs’ new freshman class. “A lot of guys have come in and  helped the team a lot so we’re excited to see what they can do . We’re excited to go through camp with them and see how they can help the football team.”

And the Georgia quarterback echoed remarks of head coach Kirby Smart Tuesday about freshman tailback Zamir White being fully ready for preseason camp following his two ACL surgeries last year.

“Zamir’s doing well,” Fromm said. “Zamir is being Zamir. He’s put a lot of pressure on himself and there’s no reason for that. When the time is ready for him, I think he’ll be ready.”

Fromm said the Bulldogs have really put in the effort during the summer workouts.

“The key to this whole off-season is to do more so we’ve been doing a lot more in the weight room, conditioning and everything else, so it’s been a tough one.

And Fromm is definitely aware of the high expectations surrounding the Bulldogs, what with the success Georgia has enjoyed the past two seasons.

“The bar definitely has been raised, so there’s no question about that,” he said. “You’ve got to play to a standard. We didn’t feel like we played to a standard  last year in every single game we played in. So it is what it is and we’re looking forward to this season and hopefully we’ll do well.”

And what about the Heisman Trophy talk where Jake Fromm’s name has been included.

“To me, it’s all about staying focused,” he said. “How can I make this team be the best team it can be? How can I win a football game? That’s what I’m focused about, more about being the best teammate I can be and really about this season and focusing on that.”

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Murray Poole is a 1965 graduate of the University of Georgia Journalism School. He served as sports editor of The Brunswick News for 40 years and has written for Bulldawg Illustrated the past 16 years. He has covered the Georgia Bulldogs for 53 years.