by Sam Martin
Newnan High School
After Jake Fromm’s explosive 2017 season, many would think his role as a starter would be solidified. The addition of Harrison High School quarterback Justin Fields, the number one quarterback in the nation, has created a feeling of uncertainty and excitement Dawg Nation.
Fromm’s season was highlighted with a trip to the national championship game and UGA’s first #1 ranking since 2008. With a completion percentage of 63 percent and throwing for over 2,000 yards, there are no signs he needs to be removed from his position.
The competition between Fromm and Fields should remind Georgia fans of the 2002 season, one which made the fan base quiet content with their team. The addition of the #1 dual-threat quarterback DJ Shockley to a Georgia team with an SEC freshman of the year in David Greene sparked questions among fans and in the locker room. The decision by then head coach Mark Richt to keep the experienced Greene at starter paid off for the Dawgs, ending the season 13-1 with SEC Championship and Sugar Bowl victories, as well as earning a #3 final ranking. Kirby Smart looks to recreate this season with even more success, aiming for that crystal ball and the first national championship for the Dawgs since 1980. Last year’s season laid the groundwork for the team to approach the season with confidence and the ability to win it all.
Fromm and the Dawg’s only regular season loss came in a 40-17 blowout against Auburn, a game in which Fromm threw for only one touchdown . Fromm, however, threw no interceptions and managed to have a completion percentage of 46 percent. Fromm’s command and leadership has stood out from the moment he entered the spotlight, constantly rallying his team and getting his players focused.
Graham Hertz, a 2019 quarterback prospect who recently watched the two quarterbacks practice, said Fromm is the type of leader a team needs “Fromm knows what he is doing and commands it. He’s the type of guy who will get in a receiver’s face and be like, ‘Why didn’t you catch the ball,’ and ‘Catch it every time.’”
Fields presence is still a welcome addition to the team, if Smart makes the right moves. Fields should be a practice player who pushes Fromm and takes stress away from the coaches and the still youthful starting quarterback. When Fromm has and off game, as every quarterback does, Fields has the ability to come in and play solid football. With the competition between the two being intense, Fields may try too hard to prove his worth and end up hurting his reputation if he starts early in the season. His unawareness of the pressure and difficulty of being a starter at UGA needs to be improved before he takes on a serious role for the team.
Fromm has done nothing to lose his spot, and with no experience at the collegiate level, Fields has done nothing to earn that spot. Fromm’s phenomenal takeover of the starting role in 2017, leading the Dawgs to their best season in years, has given Smart all he needs to keep Fromm where he is.