UGA Commit Jake Fromm’s Dad Talks Picking Kirby Smart Over Nick Saban

    UGA quarterback commit Jake Fromm's dad opened up on his son picking Kirby Smart over Nick Saban when he flipped from Alabama.

    March 7, 2016

    UGA quarterback commit Jake Fromm’s dad opened up on his son picking Kirby Smart over Nick Saban when he flipped from Alabama.

    There was an odd 48-hour window for Alabama fans last week as the Crimson Tide watched three recruits decommit from Wednesday into Thursday.

    Among them were 4-star running back Cam Akers, 4-star quarterback Jake Fromm and 3-star kicker Mitchell Wasson.

    Akers is still uncommitted, but Wasson, a preferred walk-on in 2016, flipped to the UGA Bulldogs, and he was joined by Fromm.

    Speaking of Fromm, his situation was a little cloudier than that of Akers or Wasson.

    The 4-star quarterback’s father, Emerson Fromm, is a UGA alumnus. A strong push from the Bulldogs was inevitable; it was just a matter of timing.

    Despite UGA being his alma mater, Emerson Fromm told SEC Country that his son’s decision to flip to the Dawgs was based more on the coaching situation — specifically Kirby Smart — than any family allegiance.

    “When Kirby left, it made it tough. Kirby was a big draw to go to Alabama,” Emerson said. “I mean, Alabama stands alone. You don’t need any extra reasons to go to Alabama. Jake is a very relationship-oriented kid. He wants to win. He wants to play. He wants a great education. He is also a people-person. Alabama is just not geared up that way. There’s obviously nothing wrong with it because they win national championships every year. Jake cares more about the relationships.”

    During the process Smart walked a razor’s edge. He made it clear that he wouldn’t actively recruit Fromm away from Alabama, though he also didn’t close the lines of communication.

    “Kirby said he wasn’t necessarily going to try to steal him from Alabama, but at the same time, we’re going to talk and not just give up on Jake,” Emerson Fromm said. “It’s interesting how there was very little contact after that from Alabama. Kirby was our point of contact there.”

    It would have been a big move for Alabama to hold on to the prospect considering the fact he was raised as a Bulldogs fan. But at the end of the day, it was more about picking Smart over Saban rather than picking UGA over Alabama.

    “For his entire life, from the moment he could understand what football is, he was a Georgia fan,” Emerson Fromm said. “Obviously, there’s a lot of emotion there, so we went back to Alabama. He just couldn’t connect with the coaches there. It was just hard to have a relationship with those guys. Kirby was our point of contact there. He likes Kirby and wants to play for Kirby.

    Whether he stayed with the Crimson Tide or not, Fromm would have been facing an uphill battle with the quarterback situation. Alabama has Blake Barnett, Jalen Hurts and Cooper Bateman on the depth chart, so he would have had to fight his way through that jungle of big-armed passers.

    Assuming he sticks with UGA through National Signing Day, he’ll likely have to sit behind Jacob Eason, who was a 5-star recruit and No. 1 quarterback in the 2016 class.

    Then again, such is the nature of choosing a major program.

    “If you go to one of the top schools, you are going to be in a group with another one of the top quarterbacks in the country. You have to compete with somebody,” Emerson Fromm said. “He has respect for Eason — the utmost respect for him. At the same time, for Eason to keep the job, (Jake’s) going to be working his butt off. I guarantee you that.”

    What can’t be ignored is the momentum Smart and the Bulldogs have on the recruiting trail right now.

    Along with Eason, UGA also landed 5-star tight end Isaac Nauta and 5-star athlete Mecole Hardman Jr. — to name a couple top prospects from the No. 9 class in the 2016 cycle.

    If recruits continue to flock away from Tuscaloosa and toward Athens, the question has to be asked: How much of a hit was Smart’s departure for Alabama? After all, a recruit gravitating toward an unproven head coach over a man with five national championships will raise some eyebrows.

    The Crimson Tide has been so dominant for so long, but that was when Saban had his right hand man beside him. It’s intriguing to think Smart could have a more impressive career as a solo artist.

    Note: Scout rankings and ratings used in this article.

    MORE: 4-Star RB Clears Air On Report He Flipped To UGA From Alabama


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