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Jake Fromm Keeps On Keeping On

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Much of what Jake Fromm does can and has been found in the box score. Some of it, however, goes well beyond.

Georgia, as the lone nationally-ranked team playing a conference road game in week one, comfortably won its opener at Vanderbilt 30-6. The Bulldogs rushed for a remarkable 323 yards at an astounding 8.1 yards per carry. Quite successfully, Georgia's gameplan focused on the line of scrimmage. Quarterback Jake Fromm completed 15-of-23 passes for 156 yards and one touchdown. While some have expressed concern over that modest production, it's wide-ranging proficiency, on a designed and dominant team, that makes Fromm great.  

Fromm, as one of the premier quarterbacks in all of college football and one of the faces of the game today, doesn't have to show that he can to show that he could. Such an expectation would be like watching Fromm throw a 15-yard out and assuming that is the extent of his arm strength. To date, Fromm has led Georgia to consecutive SEC Championship Games, the College Football Playoff and within one play of the program's first national title since 1980. He ranked 8th in the country as a true freshman in passer rating, finishing 5th last season with a 171.22 tally that would have paced all of college football a number of years in the past.

Already, Fromm, stepping in the starting lineup mere moments into his true freshman season and just now finishing his first upperclassman outing ever, has earned a place in Georgia and college football history. He, furthermore, just might be the ideal signal caller for this uniquely-talented highly-ranked team -- and not just because the Warner Robins-native grew up dreaming of these moments and rooting for the red-and-black. Fromm, on a team with multiple elite running backs, a staggeringly-dominant offensive line and emerging options at wide receivers, fits. It's a role that has been forged in the crucible of competition.

Long the home of "RBU", Athens is currently adding to that proud distinction at a record pace. Between D'Andre Swift and Brian Herrien and James Cook and Zamir White, Georgia boasts the nation's most impressive running back rotation. As the likes of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel recently proved, dynamic backfield depth can serve as the modern foundation for a championship team. Four decades after the iconic Herschel Walker took the Bulldogs to a title, four different runners are now looking to do the same.

Part of what makes Fromm so special is that he can be equally effective as Georgia's offensive focal point, or, as was the case last Saturday in Nashville, a secondary compliment. That multi-faceted ability, allowing the Bulldogs to be fluid and versatile in scheme and identity, makes this team very difficult to beat. Using Fromm as the catalyst, coordinator James Coley can be adaptive in responding to opposing defenses in real time. Fromm is both the highlight and the hand-off, with his efficiency in either role, in Kirby Smart's system, keying Georgia's success.

In an era of fantasy football-style statistical evaluations, Fromm's reality shapes the narrative into one specific total: wins.

There are times where you lead by following and, in Georgia's first game at Vanderbilt, Fromm jogged up-and-down the field after his offensive line paved the way for Swift, Herrien, Cook and White to carry the offense to 25 first downs. The Bulldogs controlled every aspect of the game, maintained a consistent and unwavering advantage after Fromm opened the scoring with a touchdown pass to Demetris Robertson and calmly and and convincingly ran out the second half clock with a multi-score lead in a potentially-challenging road game. Translation; Fromm did his job.  

Georgia's path to prominence this fall may largely feature a powerful north-south ground game. When the Bulldogs need Fromm to step in the spotlight, he will be ready and he has been. This is a quarterback who has answered every single call since abruptly entering the lineup at the start of his true freshman season. This is also a quarterback with, remarkably, over 5,500 career passing yards and 55 passing touchdowns. Should Fromm stay through his senior year, he will likely join legends Aaron Murray and Danny Wuerffel as the SEC's only 10,000-passing yard, 100-passing touchdown signal callers.

For those who question Fromm's downfield ability, the numbers tell a different story. He slotted third in the SEC in yards per attempt as a freshman and a sophomore, ranked third in the league in touchdown passes in 2017 and second, behind only Tua Tagovailoa, in 2018. Fromm, who has a proven track record of taking over games when needed, has four career 260-yard games, a 301-yard, three touchdown performance against Alabama in last season's SEC Championship Game included.  

Much of what Fromm does can and has been found in the box score. Some of it, however, goes well beyond. Like many accomplished Georgia quarterbacks before him, from Buck Belue to David Greene, D.J. Shockley and Murray, Fromm's legacy isn't just limited to a stat line. An example is set and a status quo is pushed. The numbers, week to week and season to season, follow as the setting and circumstances require. Correspondingly, an impact is made a number of different ways.  

A quarterback should do whatever needs to be done to put his team in a position to move the chains and, ultimately, win football games. Even after only 15 completions and 156 yards, Fromm is doing just that. As Georgia stays near the top of the polls, Fromm continues to stay at the top of his game.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports