NCAA Football: Georgia at Florida

Nov 2, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA;Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm (11) celebrates while leaving the field after defeating the Florida Gators at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm broke the hearts of Bulldog fans Wednesday afternoon, announcing he will declare for the NFL Draft a year early rather than play his senior season.

Fromm, who made the announcement via social media, is the fifth-ranked quarterback prospect in this year's NFL Draft by ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr.

Fromm’s return would have given a major boost to UGA’s Southeastern Conference title and national championship hopes for the 2020 season. The Bulldogs won the SEC East title with Fromm at the helm the past three seasons.

Fromm finishes his career fourth on the Bulldogs’ career passing list with 8,224 yards and his 78 career touchdown passes are second in school history. He started 14 of 15 games as a true freshman in leading UGA to the College Football Playoff championship game, and has started 42 games over his three seasons.

As a junior, Fromm completed 234 of 385 passes for 2,860 yards with 24 TDs and five interceptions while working with a depleted receiving corps for much of the season.

The top quarterback prospects in this year’s NFL Draft pool include LSU’s Joe Burrow, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Washington’s Jacob Eason, a former UGA quarterback transferred after losing his starting job to Fromm.

While Fromm works toward the draft, he leaves a major void at his position in Athens. Walk-on Stetson Bennett is now the only Georgia scholarship quarterback with game experience. He played in five games and was 20 of 27 for 260 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in 2019.

Redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis was out for the 2019 after May surgery in May for a brain cyst, and he hasn’t been cleared for contact. UGA’s other quarterback is freshman Carson Beck, an early enrollee from Jacksonville. The Bulldogs also could look for quarterback depth, or possibly a starter, via the graduate transfer market.

Three of the starting offensive linemen — Andrew Thomas, Isaiah Wilson and Solomon Kindley — in front of Fromm this season also declared early for the NFL Draft, as did UGA star running back D'Andre Swift.

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