QB Country
QB Country: Quarterback Training & Development

Fromm, Bentley part of QB Country’s growing SEC influence

By Doug Young, Athletes’ Ink

When Georgia visits South Carolina this Saturday in the SEC Game of the Week, all eyes will be on two of the most talented young quarterbacks in the country: Jake Fromm of the Bulldogs and Jake Bentley of the Gamecocks. Last year as a true freshman, Fromm led Georgia to an SEC title, earned SEC Freshman of the Year and appeared in the National Championship game while Bentley guided South Carolina to an Outback Bowl win over Michigan as a sophomore. (Bentley is the same age as Fromm; he skipped his senior year of high school and also started as a true freshman).

Though they’ll take the field for opposing teams, Fromm and Bentley share in a growing lineage of SEC quarterbacks trained by QB Country founder David Morris and his team of coaches across the Southeast. In fact, QB Country-trained quarterbacks have been a prominent part of the SEC landscape for much of the last decade. Some of the top names in recent years have included AJ McCarron (Alabama), Jacob Coker (Alabama) and Chad Kelly (Ole Miss). It’s a group that’s accounted for three national championships in the last seven years and two of the past three SEC Championships (Coker in 2015 and Fromm in 2017).

Coker, who led Alabama to the 2016 national title, believes it’s no coincidence that QB Country quarterbacks end up playing – and winning — in the toughest conference in college football.

“Kids need a coach who understands the pressures of the recruitment process and how taxing it can be to not only compete for a starting job at a big time program, but also fulfill the responsibilities of a quarterback and win games,” says Coker. “That’s what David and his team provide.”

It doesn’t hurt that QB Country brings some of the region’s top quarterbacks together in an environment that promotes skill development, competition, reality and a healthy respect.

“I can honestly say I don’t know if I would have played big time college football without the help of David Morris,” says Coker. “I began working with him when I was a junior in high school and he made me realize how good I could be. Without David, I don’t think that I would have been able to do the things necessary to become the player that signed with Florida State, Alabama, and eventually became capable of winning a National Championship at Alabama. He shows us what’s possible, believes in us and gives us the roadmap. He knows there are no shortcuts.”

QB Country’s strong roots in the SEC can be traced back to Morris’s playing career at Ole Miss. It was in Oxford that Morris learned the harsh realities of being an SEC quarterback. He also met teammates and coaches who would help shape his future career developing quarterbacks. Morris remains close with his Ole Miss teammate and current New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Morris was Eli’s back up at Ole Miss and he now trains him in the off seasons.

“Eli is one of the greatest to ever play quarterback in the SEC,” says Morris. “I learned a lot about the mentality the great ones have: the incredible competitiveness, the mental toughness, the love of the game, the desire to be great. Eli has all that and I’ve been fortunate to see it first-hand. It’s impacted the way we train quarterbacks.”

While the NFL is a goal for any Division 1 quarterback, playing in the SEC holds its own special appeal.  

“Kids in the South grow up wanting to be part of that atmosphere and tradition,” says Morris. “There is nothing like it. It’s all I wanted growing up. The guys we train are the same way. Jake Fromm and Jake Bentley are literally in the middle of their childhood dream. The impressive thing is that they both know it and embrace it, but neither of them are satisfied. That’s part of the special mentality the great ones have. I love being able to reiterate that to them.”

It also helps to have parents who understand the dream, and commit to supporting the process. Fromm and Bentley both come from strong football backgrounds and both had parents willing to invest time and resources to access strong coaching and training.

Bentley has the unique situation of playing at the same school where his father, Bobby, is the running backs coach. As a coach, Bobby Bentley has seen firsthand the preparation that’s needed for athletes to succeed in the SEC. It’s the reason he chose QB Country to help prepare his son for college football.

“I have followed David’s training and techniques for many years. He’s more than a trainer taking quarterbacks through random drills,” says Bentley. “He knows how to correct and elevate performance, which is the art of a great teacher. I believe in his style; it’s why I wanted my sons to train with him.”

Emerson Fromm, father of Jake, agrees. The Fromms make numerous six-hour trips throughout the year from their home in Georgia to QB Country headquarters in Mobile so that Jake and his twin brothers Tyler (Auburn 2019 TE commit ) and Dylan (Mercer 2019 QB commit) can train with Morris.

“He’s not going to waste time on unnecessary drills,” says Fromm. “Everything is efficient. He’s going to recognize weaknesses in the first ten minutes of practice and then spend the rest of the time addressing them.”

Fromm cited the personalized, customized approach that has helped his son achieve success in Athens — on and off the football field.

“David treated Jake like he would an NFL quarterback, even when he was younger. He didn’t know Jake was going to blow up and do what he’s doing. He gave him personal attention and helped him grow. Now, he and Jake will talk regularly, not always about football. It might be about being a good person, leadership. He wants Jake to be the best he can be. And Jake knows he’s got a coach who’s done it. When a guy teaching you has done the work, that means something.”

Being a QB Country quarterback and parent also means being part of a unique culture of players and families who get to know each other, sometimes over the course of years of training. Fromm, for example, started working with Morris in 9th grade while his brothers were in middle school.

“As parents, we’ve gotten to know the quarterbacks, the parents, what their motivations are, what they did right, what they did wrong. If David’s got a kid who he thinks has got a shot, he’s going to pair him up with guys who are kind of moving in the same direction or already a step ahead. He kind of says ‘take a look at this kid, go do what he is doing.’ He’s also going to throw reality at you. He’s going to teach you techniques and skills, but lets you know how difficult this is going to be and that you gotta be ready for your opportunity. There might be 40 quarterbacks in the SEC, but only 14 of them are going to play.”

Bentley and Fromm are two of those 14 quarterbacks and on Saturday they’ll be on opposite sidelines on college football’s biggest stage. In one important way, they have a lot in common.

“Everyone is not going to start in the SEC. I know how hard that is,” says Morris. “To be able to be a small part of some of the guys that do, is very neat and rewarding. It’s special to me. It’s a dream come true but there’s more to this dream.”

 

Brooks, Shuler and Jake Bentley with David Morris.