HOOVER, Ala. — Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm is great at making decisions at the line of scrimmage, but he enjoys the ones off the field the most.
The avid sportsman was asked what’s better: A great day duck hunting or a great day fishing?
“I’m going to go with a good day duck hunting; you can’t beat it, can’t beat it,” Fromm said Tuesday at SEC Media Days.
Fromm hasn’t been duck hunting this summer, but he has been fishing, posting his best catches on social media.
“You have to do a ton of things as a student-athlete,” Fromm said. “For me, it provides an escape, a getaway, to slow things down. Life has passed me very fast. I remember when I just came in as a freshman, and now I’m sitting here in Year 3 at SEC Media Days. It definitely flies by fast. And for me, it provides me a place to slow things down and enjoy God’s creation and really just appreciate life.”
Fromm found peace of mind off the field from the stress of winning and losing in front of 100,000 screaming fans, but schools are helping athletes without an outlet to deal with their mental health via sports psychologists and mental health professionals among other support personnel familiar with life’s challenges for young adults.
A decade ago at an Atlantic Coast Conference meeting, A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said he told his peers mental health was a huge part of what was going on at the time. He said some laughed, but no one is laughing now.
“When you’re 18 or 20 years old, the things they’re facing are a hundred times greater than we ever did,” Fisher said. “It’s crazy what these kids go through, and it’s a shame sometimes.”
The NCAA limits the hours a student-athlete can devote to their sport weekly, but what about studies and other time demands?
“My big thing on it: when do they ever get a break?” Fisher said. “When does a kid now ever get to be a kid? When is he allowed to make a mistake without somebody wanting to kick him out, throw him out, or whatever? They’re under pressure. When do they ever get to unwind? It’s hard.”
That’s why Fromm had a quick reply to his first of 25 minutes of questions.
“I’d rather be fishing, but I don’t mind it at all,” Fromm said with a laugh. “Fishing is great. Sometimes it’s great to be out there on the water. It’s something my grandfather taught me to do when I was younger. It just brings back some good memories having fun, fishing.”
Fromm also has been having a lot of fun on the field. Georgia is 22-5 the last two seasons, with Fromm throwing for 5,364 yards with 54 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
“I’m trying to take this team to the next level,” Fromm said. “How can I be the best leader for this football team? How can I be the best teammate? That’s what I’ve been working on this summer, and I’ll try to finish it out in fall camp and then hit it running for the season.”
He’ll chase a national title this season knowing that win or lose he’ll probably do the same thing afterward that he did last season.
“I went home and duck hunted with Dad, Granddad and my brothers and had a good time as always,” Fromm said.