The Georgia football team had high hopes for the 2017 season. Those hopes were nearly crushed before the team could finish one half of football.
On the third drive of the Bulldogs’ opening game, sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason went down with a knee injury. A late hit out-of-bounds by an Appalachian State University defender caused Eason to leave the game and miss the team’s next three games.
If it wasn’t for the backup quarterback, freshman Jake Fromm, Georgia’s season could have ended before it even really started.
Instead, Fromm entered against App. State following Eason’s injury and led the Bulldogs to a victory over the Mountaineers. The freshman wound up starting at quarterback the rest of the season, and Georgia finished 13-2 with an SEC title and trips to Los Angeles for the Rose Bowl and Atlanta for the national championship game.
Georgia came up short in the college football playoff and lost the national title to Alabama in heartbreaking fashion. Still, if you would have told Georgia fans prior to the season that the Bulldogs were going to make it to the national championship game, most would have been happy regardless of the outcome.
It’s possible that a healthy Eason would have led Georgia to the title game, and maybe the Bulldogs would have won it all with Eason. The world will never know.
Based off what is known, Fromm will be one of, if not the most experienced sophomores in the country in 2018.
He has a 12-2 record as a starter, including road wins at Notre Dame and Tennessee. He was named the SEC freshman of the year after finishing the season with 2,615 passing yards and 26 touchdowns.
So why is there talk of a competition at quarterback for Georgia this offseason?
The same reason there was talk of a competition last year when Georgia already had a solid starter in Eason: A new five-star quarterback arrived on campus.
In 2017, it was Fromm arriving and competing with Eason. In 2018, it’s Justin Fields arriving and competing with Fromm. Eason is out of the picture after transferring to the University of Washington.
What makes this year’s competition different despite Fromm’s experience is Fields’ dual-threat ability. He is listed at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds and can run the 40 yard dash in 4.51 seconds, according to 247Sports.
Fields started at quarterback for two years at Harrison High School in Kennesaw. On top of passing for 4,187 yards and 41 touchdowns, Fields rushed for 2,096 yards and 28 touchdowns in those two seasons. The five-star recruit was also ranked the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country and No. 2 player overall in the country, per the 247Sports composite.
When you watch Fromm play, you are reminded of Drew Brees. He is surgical with his passes and calm under pressure.
With Fields, you are reminded of Cam Newton. He has a cannon for an arm and the speed and agility of a running back.
Whenever Fields does see the field for Georgia, he will add a dimension to the Bulldogs’ offense that hasn’t been seen since the days of D.J. Shockley. That time just shouldn’t be the first snap of the first game of the season.
Fromm has the experience and the resume worthy of a starting job at nearly any school in the country. Fields might be talented, perhaps even more talented than Fromm, but Fromm has earned the right to start at quarterback for Georgia in 2018 just as Eason did in 2017.
It makes sense for there to be a competition between Fromm and Fields. It doesn’t make sense for the decision to be a tough one.
Fromm is the man for the job, and he should start Week One in 2018.