If you’re one of those that heralds The University of Georgia’s athletic program as one that finds spectacular ways to come close and then fall short in stunningly dramatic fashion, this has been quite the week.
To the surprise of few, Jake Fromm is turning pro.
Personally, I don’t blame him. If you feel that you can’t improve your draft stock that much, why risk the injury?
I’ve thought a lot in the past 48 hours of what Jake’s legacy will be. If you’re taking only 2017 and 18 Fromm, it’s pretty darn good. This past year was blood in the water for any naysayers, and fair or not, some of how Fromm will be remembered will be how this season went, some factors of his control and some of not his own.
In truth - feelings about Fromm for the long-term will be shaken out in the future. If Georgia gets rolling nicely on offense next year, his loss wont sting as bad. If Georgia struggles on that side of the ball while Fromm is holding a clipboard all year long, the reaction becomes, “he left for this?!”
In the end, Fromm, like Kirby was the bridge from one era to the next. And much like Kirby’s predecessor, he was tied early on to an incredible talent under center, and the challenge becomes keeping offensive numbers going to show that the program is bigger than one player.
Which brings us to....
potential transfers to Athens. Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman, if you read the tea leaves, has a good chance to land in Athens
In more ways than one, he is no Jake Fromm. But given his mobility, could he be the right guy at the right time as Georgia hopefully opts to adapt its offense? Could Clemson’s Chase Brice also enter the picture? In the midst of all this, you’ll have a very motivated Carson Beck, D’wan Mathis and Stetson Bennett. All of a sudden, G-Day got a bit more intriguing.
It may not have played a big role, but Fromm’s side of the ball in all will now lose all but two starters. That number, unless you have been under a rock, lowered to a double with the pinky finger heard around the world along with Cade Mays entering the transfer portal and within a day, shockingly, him winding up at UTK.
Apparently, family ties are stronger than the specter of going 6-6 and the exotics of the online tax prep software bowl.
Of course, there’s more to it than that . You could not send this story to Hollywood and have them not react about how outrageous an unreal the plot is....that is, unless they had never heard of the roller coaster of being a Georgia sports fan.
Apparently, an injured pinky finger is not serious enough to keep someone from sending their kid to Athens, until, shall we say, ‘circumstances’ change. Lost in all this is how good of a recruiter Sam Pittman apparently is if he didn’t allow that to hinder Mays coming to Georgia.
This could be a defining moment for the will of Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity. He has been lampooned, sometimes unjustly and sometimes deservedly (looking at you, Auburn schedule). But given Georgia’s official statement about the lawsuit by the Mays family, it really looks like that Georgia knows that Tom Mars ran one by a year ago with Justin Fields and that it didn’t like the PR image Georgia got slapped with as Justin Fields put big numbers up at tOSU.
If it’s indeed a personal ware between the UGAAA and Tom Mars, offseason just got a bit more fun.
In keeping with the theme of defense getting all the good things, Robert Beal has exited the transfer portal.
Report: Georgia’s Robert Beal withdraws name from transfer portal https://t.co/tPcgUjI2Vh— AJC Sports (@AJCsports) January 9, 2020
Meanwhile in Chicken Land, South Carolina is doing its best to be pre-Kirby Georgia with the hiring of Joe Cox as tight ends coach. In case you didn’t wonder if it’s a Mike Bobo show on offense, you don’t have to wonder anymore. Overall, that’s five former Georgia players on the USC Jr. staff, plus Faton Bauta may also be coming aboard as an offensive analyst. Only thing missing is Neil Callaway to show up and a few shoulder-injury prone linemen to be on campus.
University of South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp has shuffled his coaching staff for the 2020 season, adding Joe Cox as the Gamecocks' tight ends coach, it was announced today. Cox comes to Columbia after spending the past five seasons… https://t.co/xPUaMZWeez— The T&D (@TheTandD) January 9, 2020
But in the middle of all that - the greatest thing to happen this week was from Stark Vegas. The Bizzaro Dogs hired the most Starkvillian guy you can find with Mike Leach getting the Cowbell Call.
#MikeLeach 1st press conference: "Well the bulldog is a well respected animal, dormant, sluggish at times, but fierce and ready for a fight at any moment, kinda like me. Starkville reminds me of Valdosta a little bit, but with more cowbells, and you can always use more cowbell"— Evan Gilles (@EvanD_Gilles37) January 9, 2020
Mississippi State does not know it yet, but it just did Georgia a great service.
First of all, it kept Todd Grantham at Florida. Sorry to our friends at Banner Society.
Secondly, it brought Leach’s offense to the SEC, but far enough away from Georgia having to deal with it. It’s kind of like moving off the college five hours away. Close enough to keep tabs but far enough away to have to deal with it much in person.
A great fear I had two years ago was Leach getting the Tennessee job. Thankfully, UT did not exercise logic.
Elsewhere on campus, it was a less than ideal night for women’s basketball, as what was shown in practice reared its head in a loss to Vandy. The road’s no easier as a trip to Tennessee waits on Sunday.
The GymDogs, meanwhile, open at home this weekend against LSU.
Needless to say, many of us are ready for the weekend. Here’s one of many legacies of 96 Rock on Atlanta radio...
Happy Friday and Go Dawgs!