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GEORGIA

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The Bulldogs feature a devastating rushing attack and stout D, but freshman QB JAKE FROMM will have to rise to the occasion

JAKE FROMM had gone through spring practice at Georgia, but in May, when the skill players assembled for their first day of voluntary seven-on-seven work, he was still very much a newcomer. The QBs run the show in these sessions, but those who have played in actual games do most of the talking. So senior linebacker Davin Bellamy was a little surprised when Fromm, a true freshman, began chirping at the defense to hurry up so the group could get through the entire script of plays. "It shows us that he's not afraid of the moment," Bellamy said in September, five days before Fromm made his first start, at Notre Dame, in place of sophomore Jacob Eason, who had sprained his left knee in the season opener.

Fromm has made the most of his opportunity, leading the Bulldogs to their first SEC title since 2005. On a team with a fierce rushing attack led by Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, he hasn't been asked to carry the offense; he never attempted more than 29 passes in a game. He wasn't prolific but against tough SEC D's was efficient, finishing sixth in the country in yards per attempt (9.4).

Fromm grew up wanting to play for Georgia. "You always dream about it in the backyard playing with your brothers," he says. When he arrived in Athens, the odds were long he'd see much action before his third year, with Eason at the helm. Fromm's teammates might have expected a steeper learning curve, but, "he has the poise of a senior," says senior receiver Javon Wims. When Eason went down in Georgia's season-opening 31--10 win against Appalachian State, Fromm was ready, a steady presence through the SEC title game, his finest performance as the Bulldogs defeated No. 6 Auburn 28--7 to secure a CFP bid. Can the youngster lead Georgia to its first national title since 1980? "When you see how the guy prepares, you don't worry at all," Bellamy says. "That guy is different."

BY THE NUMBERS

9.4

Yards per attempt by Fromm, sixth-best in the country.

264

Rushing yards per game by Georgia, 10th in the country.