Fromm key to hopes of contending again
By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Jake Fromm won over his coach yet again even after he couldn’t win Georgia’s biggest game in almost four decades.
Fromm was the biggest surprise of Georgia’s breakout season. After finishing 2016 unranked and with five losses, Georgia won 13 games before suffering a 26-23 overtime loss to Alabama in Monday night’s national championship game.
Georgia (13-2) is No. 2 in the final AP Top 25 , and Fromm continued to receive praise from coach Kirby Smart even after a mixed showing in the championship game loss. The Bulldogs fell short in their attempt for their first national championship since 1980.
Smart said Fromm, who threw an 80yard touchdown pass with two interceptions, “certainly kept us in the game with his decision making.”
“Jake’s a special kid,” Smart said. “He’s a gamer. He understands the game of football.”
Fromm took the starting job as Georgia’s quarterback as a freshman and led the Bulldogs to memorable wins at Notre Dame, over Auburn in the Southeastern Conference championship game and over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl playoff semifinal.
After Monday night’s game, Fromm and others paid tribute to a senior class led by tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.
Despite the loss , he said the season was “super-positive for Georgia football.”
“It has definitely set the standard,” Fromm said. “I definitely take all the hard work and use that as a new standard. You see what hard work does for you.”
Chubb and Michel had more yards rushing than any tandem in FBS history.
“We try to set the standard high so the younger guys know where to take it from here,” Michel said after the game. “We fell short today, and I think guys that are coming back understand what it’s going to take plus more to get back here.”
Smart said Chubb and Michel “meant more to Georgia than yards. A lot of heart and soul. A lot of fire.”
Among other key seniors were linebackers Lorenzo Carter, Reggie Carter and Davin Bellamy and defensive backs Malkom Parrish, Aaron Davis and Dominick Sanders.
The losses at tailback and on defense will be heavy, but strong back-to-back recruiting classes will help fill the void.
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm throws during the first half of the College Football Playoff national championship game against Alabama. David Goldman / AP