During their run to the College Football Playoff National Championship game, the Georgia Bulldogs have largely relied on a strong rushing attack led by a pair of dominant backs, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. But when called upon, true freshman quarterback Jake Fromm has delivered. In the national semifinal at the Rose Bowl Jan. 1, Fromm went 20-for-29 for 210 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
One of the fans who was most excited by the performance was Orioles left-handed pitching prospect DL Hall, the team's first-round draft pick in 2017.
"We were pretty close friends and teammates,"
Hall said in a Glenn Clark Radio interview
Jan. 2. "We became very close as we played together and won a [baseball] state championship together in high school. It was very exciting to see that last night and also see the Bulldogs get that far."
While Hall finished his prep career at Valdosta (Ga.) High School, he spent the two previous seasons at Houston County (Ga.), where he was baseball teammates with Fromm.
"I met him my 10th-grade year, that's when I transferred to his high school in Houston County, and from the very first time I got to see him playing football and even some baseball, he's very, very talented," Hall said. "He has a lot of poise. I think that's something big for him. I could always see that he handled it very well. He's a good leader. He handled pressure like that very well.
"Going into [the Rose Bowl], everybody asked me, 'How's your boy Jake going to do?' and I was like, 'You know, I think he'll be all right. He's played in a lot of big things like that, big situations, and I've seen him perform a lot in those situations. I think he'll be all right.’"
Fromm was a third baseman on the Houston County team and had played in the 2011 Little League World Series before that. According to Hall, Fromm was a legitimate baseball prospect.
"He was good," Hall said. "Everybody always said he could have went far with that, too. He could have played at the next level with baseball as well if he would have put his time into it. He didn't focus on it much. His last year of playing baseball was his junior year because he graduated early his senior year and left before the spring. If he would have focused on baseball -- even without focusing on baseball -- I think he ended up our junior year [with] like seven home runs and hit above .300 and ended up playing pretty good.
"He stopped pitching after the ninth-grade year; he didn't want to do anything with his arm. It was definitely something where if he wanted to, he could have done it but he kind of started chasing his dreams with football and stuff like that, but he was definitely a good baseball player and he could have played at the college level with that if he would have wanted to."
Despite growing up a Florida State fan, Hall decided to root for the Bulldogs after Fromm decommitted from Alabama and choose to play at Georgia instead. Hall actually accompanied Fromm on a recruiting visit to Alabama at one point and will now cheer on his friend as he faces the Crimson Tide for the national championship Jan. 8. The two have stayed in touch throughout Fromm's stellar rookie campaign.
"I text him about after every single game just to mess with him a little bit," Hall said.
"Literally everybody on the baseball team, everybody on the football team, he heard it plenty," Hall said. "From just about everybody on either team around him."
Another topic Hall might be ribbing him about is who has the better arm. Hall claimed he's already proven it's his.
"That's my little claim to fame, I guess," Hall said. "We actually had a throw-off with a football at our old high school and I beat him by about 5 or 6 yards."
While Fromm has been overshadowed by his team's running attack in 2017, his former baseball teammate believes the country will see him break out as a passer in the coming years.
"I think he definitely has the opportunity to, and I think he's definitely going to go for that," Hall said. "I think that's definitely going to be one of his goals. With the running backs that he has, he hasn't really had to show off the arm that he has. But I think even if he didn't have them that they would still be doing just as well because he can throw it just as well as he can hand it off."
And when Fromm's not showing off his arm, Hall said he might instead be choosing to show off his hair.
"One fun fact is he carried around a thing of hair gel in his book bag every day at school when we were in high school to make sure he keeps his hair looking OK," Hall said.
For more from Hall, including a recap of his first pro season, listen to the full interview here: