Credit: Student Sports
Each week, Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analyst Tyler Donohue analyzes a different prospect based on in-person evaluation and intensive film study. Here’s our latest scouting report of a promising young athlete and how he projects as a college player.
The Peach State has produced plenty of impressive quarterbacks but, from a statistical standpoint, Jake Fromm may find himself sitting atop that list by the end of his prep career.
This 6’2″, 203-pound prospect became just the second Georgia prep player to surpass 10,000 career passing yards in September, joining former Gainesville High School great Deshaun Watson. Fromm is now less than 450 yards shy of replacing the Clemson Tigers’ Heisman Trophy contender as No. 1 all-time—13,077 yards is the total to beat—according to Jeff Sentell of DawgNation.
The Houston County High School senior is fresh off a 520-yard, four-touchdown performance Friday, per Ryan Jordan of the Telegraph. This effort gives Fromm a career-high 40 total scores through nine games, according to MaxPreps, and it should create increased buzz about his future at the University of Georgia.
Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart previously helped secure a verbal pledge from the prized passer last fall as a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide staff. However, within months of his arrival in Athens, he managed to flip Fromm into a home-state commitment, creating a key building block for Georgia’s 2017 recruiting class.
Rated No. 3 nationally among quarterback recruits and No. 29 overall this cycle by Scout.com, Fromm signed financial aid papers with Georgia on Wednesday and will follow fellow 5-star standout Jacob Eason to campus. The Bulldogs have bagged two national Elite 11 finalists in consecutive classes, setting the stage for a competitive environment on campus.
Fromm, solidly in the mix for multiple National Player of the Year awards this season, is the latest blue-chip recruit to enter the spotlight of our weekly B/R Recruiting Breakdown.
Here’s a closer look at the Bulldogs commit who continues to shred defenses en route to etching his name in Georgia’s state record books.
High School: Houston County (Warner Robins, Georgia)
Size: 6’2″, 219 lbs (at The Opening)
Recruitment Status: Committed to the Georgia Bulldogs on March 3, 2016
- Provides an ultra-competitive presence in the huddle; seems genuinely excited to orchestrate an offense regardless of setting. This vigor resonates with those around him.
- Stepped up during The Opening after a middle-of-the-pack performance at Elite 11 finals; tossed three touchdowns in his first half of seven-on-seven tournament action and quickly commanded the admiration of elite-level teammates.
- A vocal leader who commands attention to detail from offensive counterparts and also supplies encouragement whether or not a play reaches its ideal outcome.
- An aggressive passer who believes in his talents and technique; fires the football with excellent velocity and isn’t intimidated by tight windows downfield. Will catch defensive backs on their heels in coverage.
- Completes 50-plus-yard attempts with zip and finds receivers in stride, boasting some of the most consistent deep-ball abilities in this recruiting cycle.
- Pre-snap assessment is strong; Fromm often accurately anticipates defensive looks based off reads and reacts accordingly with quick decisions.
- Patient in the pocket before displaying desirable decisiveness when it’s time to pull the trigger; identifies defensive strain and exploits it without hesitation.
- A strong lower-body base provides the foundation of his physicality; not an easy guy to bring down in the pocket, and he’s mobile enough to buy time beyond it.
- Physical ceiling isn’t nearly as lofty as his 5-star Georgia Bulldogs predecessor (Eason stood 6’5 ½”, 208 pounds as a high school senior), but Fromm is arguably a more polished package at this point in his prep career.
- Elite 11 leader and former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, per Kipp Adams of 247Sports: “He is a big, thick kid, that gives you a lot to work with. He’s prepared for that physical part of it.”
- Athleticism transcends football. Fromm emerged as a Little League World Series standout and helped lead Houston County to a state championship this spring (his final baseball season).
- As evidenced by his assault on Georgia’s all-time records, Fromm is an extremely productive prep player; three straight seasons with at least 3,600 passing yards and 30 touchdown tosses.
Gaudy statistics aren’t simply a product of him airing the ball out each play—though his 33 pass attempts per game since 2014 is considerable volume at this level. Fromm is fundamentally advanced and understands how to bait defenders into critical mistakes.
For example, let’s examine a sequence that begins on the opponents’ 46-yard line. Before the snap, Fromm, sandwiched by two receivers on each side, sends a teammate out of the backfield in motion toward his right. We’ve marked an opposing safety, whose coverage is pivotal to this particular play, with a star:
Fromm takes the snap, poised in the pocket as usual, and immediately shifts attention toward the slot receiver running a 10-yard out pattern to his left. Shoulders and helmet turn toward that direction, attracting attention from the cornerback covering Fromm’s wideout at top right and, most importantly, the safety responsible for deep quadrant duties on that side of the field:
This momentary misdirection effectively frees up a passing lane for Fromm, who smoothly resets himself with sights to the right. He delivers a dart that travels approximately 50 yards in the air before finding the receiver perfectly in stride, steps ahead of the fooled safety, for a touchdown:
Fromm is most accurately identified as a pocket passer, but as we alluded to earlier, his penchant for improvising on the move makes him a dynamic threat to burn defensive coverage.
The next series of screenshots starts with Houston County situated just outside the red zone. Fromm locates a receiver (marked by star) approaching the end zone with space to work, but he suddenly encounters a sizable defensive end directly in front of his face:
Though Fromm checks the “above average” box in just about every category quarterback requires, he isn’t gifted with great height, so it’s imperative for him to implement lateral movement as a way to create windows for pass release. He does that here, working toward the left without dropping his helmet or sacrificing square shoulders.
As two defenders approach him, Fromm fires the ball to a spot where his receiver can reel it in and the risk of an interception is greatly limited. Strength is on display as he sends a spiral while momentum carries him away from his throwing arm:
Standing tall in the face of incoming traffic, Fromm finds his target with precision that results in another score:
It’s a throw many high school quarterbacks wouldn’t dare attempt, and it’s one that provides further evidence of Fromm’s exceptional traits.
Since the moment Fromm flipped his commitment from Alabama to Georgia, folks have wondered how things will shake out between him and Eason. Expectations were immense for the latter entering this season, and although he’s completing just 53 percent of pass attempts for a 4-4 team, Eason has shown flashes of stardom while tallying eight touchdowns and four interceptions against SEC competition.
Fromm should instantly push Eason toward improvements because he will step onto campus prepared to compete.
“He’ll make me a better quarterback, and I expect to do the same thing for him,” Fromm told B/R during Elite 11 finals this summer. “Our defensive backs are going to get a lot of good work in practice.”
A straight-laced student-athlete who embraces the minor, diligent aspects of quarterback craft, he’s well-equipped to challenge Eason. It’s an excellent situation for Smart, who can look forward to seven combined seasons of eligibility from these blue-chip recruits starting in 2017.
Which 5-star QB will acheive greater success with the Georgia Bulldogs?
Unlike Eason, who relocated across the country from his home state of Washington, Fromm is a Georgia high school legend. Local notoriety, leader-caliber composure and abundant talent would make it difficult for anyone to supplant him as Bulldogs quarterback if he manages to secure starting snaps due to performance, injury or other unforeseen factors.
If Eason is able to fend off the incoming freshman and validate his recruitment hype throughout seasons to come, 2019 becomes a likely target for Fromm to step up. That’s the potential long-term plan for a passer who could play right away for plenty of Power Five programs but would be worth the wait for Bulldogs fans.
Tyler Donohue is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Quotes and observations obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Prospect ratings courtesy of Scout.com.
Follow Tyler via Twitter: @TDsTake.