66,133 people piled into Sanford Stadium to watch the Georgia football team scrimmage on April 22. Yes that many in April, not October.
And the Georgia faithful may have left starstruck by the hot-shot freshman Fromm and the maturing sophomore Eason.
Fans were not the only ones who were pleased with the quarterback’s effort in the spring scrimmage. Head coach Kirby Smart can be added to that list too.
“The best thing that happened is you got the opportunity to see quarterbacks try to work the two-minute drill,” Smart said. “That’s what so many of our games come down to critical situations whether it’s using timeouts or opportunities to win the game. That excited me.”
Fromm put on a show as he threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns. Eason matched the freshman’s touchdown total, but he threw for 311 yards and interception.
Fromm left a good first impression on his head coach.
“Just watching out there, [Fromm] managed the pocket well,” Smart said. “He’s made some good throws. He understands the game. He knows where to go with the ball. He sees people open. Early in the game, he came out firing the ball and made some good throws.”
Eason was also impressed with the freshman’s performance on G-Day. Eason was reminded of just last year when he was the freshman appearing in front of the Georgia crowd for the first time at G-Day in 2016.
“That’s a big moment for Jake coming in as a freshman like I was,” Eason said. “Jake did a good job, he kept his composure and dealing with that and playing his game.”
The quarterbacks’s performance in a spring game must be taken with a grain of salt headed into the upcoming fall season. Fromm went up against the team’s second team defense while Eason faced a much stronger first-team defense that is made up of the team’s starters.
Eason was pressured throughout the day by the defensive starters as he was sacked five teams. Even though he did not hit the turf, defenders were able to get a hand on Eason which counts as a sack in a scrimmage since coaches do not want their quarterbacks hit hard before the season begins.
“Jacob knows he has to take responsibility for some of those [sacks],” Smart said. “Some of those are coverage sacks. He’s got to throw the ball on time, hit the checkdown. Let’s get the backs the ball. There’s two or three times he missed the backs with the ball but that could turn into a big play.”
But Smart liked what he has seen in the incumbent starter Eason throughout this spring.
“I think that Jacob understands our offense better,” Smart said. “He knows the checks. He knows where to go with the ball. That part I’m pleased with. You can’t judge just based on today. We’re trying to challenge him to use his strengths. His strength is his ability to throw the ball.”
Eason was more critical of his performance but thinks he has made improvements in his second year as a Bulldog quarterback.
“I feel like I’ve made strides but there’s still a lot more strides to go in that regard,” Eason said.
The Bulldogs will lean on Eason in the 2017 season, but it’s good for Georgia faithful to know that he likely will have a capable backup in Fromm in case of injury.
All photographs courtesy of UGA Sports Communication