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The Greatness of Jake Fromm

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Whether most realize it or not, we are watching an all-time great in Jake Fromm.

Whatever the reason, very few are appreciating the sheer greatness of Jake Fromm. It's strange to consider the possibility of one of college football's best players being the game's most underrated, but, with Fromm, that very well may be the case. One year after taking Georgia to within a play of the national title, and ranking in the top ten in passer rating along the way, Fromm has only gotten better. He, again, has the Bulldogs leading the national discussion. Few players, in recent history, have done what Fromm is doing. 

Just two quarterbacks have a higher passer rating than Fromm this fall, Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray; both are set to break college football's single-season record. In fact, Fromm's current figure of 179.4 would rank in the top ten amongst Power Five quarterbacks over the last decade. The only P5 players the past ten years with a higher full-season number are Baker Mayfield twice, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton and Tagovailoa and Murray; five of the six former players won the Heisman Trophy, while the two current ones are this year's favorites.  

Fromm may be the anti-modern day signal caller. In an era of record-setting numbers and eye-popping totals, his play focuses on proficiency. There is a circumstantial nuance to Fromm's game, a maturity to his approach that stabilizes his entire team. Admittedly, Fromm may not be the number one pick on your fantasy football team; when it comes to real football, however, he is as good as it gets. Wins, see Georgia's recent successes, are Fromm's ultimate tally.   

Counting the season-opener his true freshman year where Fromm replaced Jacob Eason mere snaps into the game, Fromm is 24-3 during his remarkable career. He already has one SEC title, the Bulldogs' first since 2005, and has Georgia, ahead of Championship Saturday, playing for another. Fromm has been absolutely elite this fall, ranking 8th nationally with a completion percentage of 69.1% and 4th with a yard-per-attempt average of 9.6. He and Tagovailoa are the only Power Five signal callers with 24 touchdowns or more and five or fewer interceptions.

Fromm has proven to be the perfect fit for Georgia's offense. A elite situational passer who is ultra-effective off of play-action, his timely throws have helped the Bulldogs rank 13th in the country in both scoring and total offense, 7th in third down conversions and 9th in passes of 50 yards or more. Fromm's skill set compliments the consistent production of Georgia's rushing attack, led by D'Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield.

November is considered crunch time in college football. Heading into a Saturday showdown with top-ranked Alabama, Fromm has been at his absolute best. He, for the month of November, ranks second in the nation and leads P5 football in passer rating; going back to the end of October, Fromm has eleven touchdowns, one interception and convincing victories over the likes of Florida, Kentucky, Auburn and Georgia Tech. His stat line over the last two games alone: 18-of-21 with five touchdowns. 

Nearing the end of his sophomore season, Fromm, for his career, is 342-of-524 (65.3%) for 4,851 yards (9.3 ypa), with 48 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Fromm, for context, is the only quarterback this millennium with that production over a two-year span. If you expand the parameters, lowering Fromm's standards to a 4,800-yard, 45-touchdown, 15 or fewer interceptions categorization, the list is he, Mariota, A.J. McCarron and Alex Smith. None of those greats did it exclusively as an underclassman.

Whether most realize it or not, we are watching an all-time great in Fromm. 

The evolution of another talented quarterback, true freshman Justin Fields, has the potential to make Fromm and the Georgia offense even better. Though limited in experience, Fields could bring a different dynamic to the Bulldogs and compliment Fromm's skill set with his own. There are situations where Fields, with his abilities, may be better suited for success than Fromm. A precedent for this already exists in Athens, when David Greene was complimented by D.J. Shockley as Georgia won an SEC Championship in 2002.  

Even as an underclassman, Fromm's leadership sets the tone for the Bulldogs. His consistency and poise has a ripple effect that helps Georgia avoid the volatility that consumes many teams. Simply put, the Bulldogs are an extension of Fromm's strengths. While some of his most important contributions are impossible to quantify, they are, with Georgia competing for another championship, clear to see.

Fromm may not be getting talked about enough this season. His legacy one day will.

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