Sports Spectrum Weekly

Georgia QB Jake Fromm follows God, embraces pressure as he chases elusive title

Georgia football hasn’t won a national championship in 39 years. Jake Fromm is on a quest to change that.

Fromm is beginning his third season as the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs, and he’s hoping he finishes this one out on a very different note than his first two.

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As a true freshman in 2017, Fromm replaced injured QB Jacob Eason in Week 1 and never looked back in leading the Bulldogs to an SEC Championship, Rose Bowl victory, and a spot in the national championship game against Alabama. Fromm helped Georgia to a touchdown lead with four minutes to play, but a stout defense and heroics from fellow freshman QB Tua Tagovailoa lifted the Crimson Tide to a 26-23 overtime win.

The following season, Fromm quarterbacked the Bulldogs to 11 regular-season wins and a 28-14 lead over Alabama in the third quarter of the SEC Championship Game. Again, Georgia blew the lead and lost 35-28 in another crushing defeat. The team followed that up with a Sugar Bowl loss to Texas.

Many experts predict Georgia to be a national contender again this year, and some even believe Fromm will beat out Tagovailoa and Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence for the Heisman Trophy. Fromm is not shying away from the pressure to perform in his third year.

“I really feel like everything’s on my shoulders,” Fromm recently told ESPN. “They’ll look at me, and they won’t say it was Jake & Co. They’ll say it was Jake’s fault. That’s the type of responsibility I want. I want to take this team to the next level and win a national championship. I’m determined to do it.”

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said he believes Fromm is just the type of quarterback to help the Bulldogs bring a long-awaited national title to Athens.

“He has a not-ordinary confidence in himself, and also what he believes,” Smart said in an ESPN video, comparing Fromm with former Florida QB Tim Tebow as a leader and follower of Christ. “He has an ability to lead in the locker room without alienating people and without rubbing people the wrong way. And I think that speaks volumes to the team that we can become.”

Fromm has been outspoken about his faith during his time with the Bulldogs. He occasionally shares passages of scripture or praises God on his Twitter account:

He can often be found reading his Bible, and he even prayed with Jacob Eason, whom he replaced as the starting QB at Georgia, when Eason announced he was transferring to Washington.

Fromm’s faith began in his youth, absorbing all he could from Pastor Jerry Wells at Southside Baptist Church in Warner Robins, Ga. To this day, Wells sends Fromm occasional Bible verses and often checks up on the QB — despite the fact that Wells is a diehard Alabama fan. Wells doesn’t say too much about the 2017 national championship or the 2018 SEC championship when Fromm is around. And it doesn’t help that Fromm was once committed to the team that delivered two of his life’s most devastating defeats. When Smart arrived at Georgia, Fromm was offered a scholarship and switched his commitment from Alabama.

Now that team in Tuscaloosa is Fromm’s nemesis. The Tide is ranked higher in the preseason at No. 2 than Fromm’s Bulldogs at No. 3. Yet he isn’t worrying himself about Alabama or anybody else. He’s preparing himself, so that Year No. 3 is finally the one that ends in a championship.

“Do I have something to prove?” Fromm asked in the ESPN article. “It’s a trick question. Do I have something to prove to everybody? No. But I have something to prove to myself. I know what I can be, and I want to go do it.”

Georgia begins its season against conference foe Vanderbilt on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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