LOS ANGELES -- When you see it now, you wonder what the heck's the big deal. It just looks like a picked scab.
But when you hear Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm tell the story about how he got a fishhook caught in his left calf last month, boy is it a whale of a tale.
The day started innocently enough. Fromm and buddy Jordan Rowe, a member of Georgia's bass fishing team and an aspiring country music singer, spent all day cruising around a pond in Rowe's hometown of Adel (heavy emphasis on the hard A), Georgia, two weeks ago.
After hours of hauling in a boatload of fish, the two started to circle back around and head in for the evening. With the sun dipping down behind the trees, Rowe cast out another line in hopes of a late catch before calling it a day.
A humongous bass exploded on Rowe's bait.
Rowe was caught off guard and missed the monster, so he immediately reeled in his line and threw it back out in hopes of tricking his potential trophy into chomping at the bait again.
As seconds felt like minutes, Rowe and Fromm got startled again, as a bass nailed the bait again, but, for whatever reason, it still wasn't hooked.
Rowe, determined not to leave the pond without his prize, yanked the hook his way, wildly flinging it back at Fromm.
Fromm felt a sudden jolt in his left leg.
"I'm like, 'Jordan, I think something's in my leg here,'" Fromm recounted.
At least for the moment, there isn't much pain.
Well, that was until Lowe started to quickly reel in his line again.
"I'm like, 'Woooo, woooo, woooo, whoa! That kinda hurts there,'" Fromm said. "Because the tension of his rod is trying to pull [the fishing lure] out of my leg, and that didn't feel too good."
With his buddy -- not a fish -- hooked, Rowe stopped yanking his line and rushed to the back of the boat to check on Fromm's impaled leg under the darkening sky.
Rowe spent the next 30 minutes poking and prodding Fromm's left calf to try to pull out the hook. What neither knew at the time was that the hook was dug into Fromm's calf muscle, making it that much more difficult to get out.
After the unsuccessful attempt at makeshift surgery in the dark and on a boat, the two did what any good fishermen would do when pursuing a leviathan ... they cast their lines out in search of the monster still lurking below.
For the next 15 or 20 minutes, they just kept fishing as if everything was fine.
"I'm trying to catch that bass," Fromm said. "That thing was huge!"
Once they'd burned all the daylight they could and the beast below had ducked the rest of their casts, Fromm and Rowe made their way back to shore. When the boat was up and secured on a trailer attached to their truck, the two drove to Rowe's grandfather's house for help.
However, before they could make the drive, Fromm had to make time for fans, regardless of whether the chance of infection could potentially ruin his Heisman chances.
With some of Rowe's friends and family joining them around the pond that day, some didn't want to miss out on getting pictures with Georgia's young starting quarterback. When an SEC champion quarterback comes around, you get the cameras ready.
"It's just hanging out of my leg, and I take like 20 pictures and talk to these people," Fromm said with a laugh. "They're awesome people, don't get me wrong, but it was just kind of crazy because I have a fishhook hanging out of my leg, taking pictures like it's no big deal.
"Honestly, it was no big deal, really. I knew it wasn't a life-or-death situation. It was just kind of another thing, you know?"
Off to Grandpa's house
With the smiling and posing done, it was off to Rowe's grandfather's house. Unfortunately, he was no help, either. But just before Fromm and Rowe finally decided to take the leg to an actual professional, Rowe's grandfather tried to get Fromm to break fisherman code by asking him where his accident occurred.
"I said, 'Whoa, now! I can't tell you that! I can't tell you where my fishing spots are!'"
To which Rowe's grandfather replied ...
"Welp, I guess we'll just have to leave that in there then."
Stay in it did, so Fromm and Rowe drove 10 minutes to Cook Medical Center in Adel. Mind you, this hook has been stuck in Fromm's leg for nearly an hour and a half without any sort of proper medical attention.
Once it was determined that infection was not a threat, a doctor numbed the area around Fromm's wound and started to push the hook upward. But with the lure buried in muscle, it took a while for the doctor to push it to the surface before cleanly removing it.
"I tell ya, that thing was so deep, it took him forever to push it through," Fromm said.
Fromm didn't really want anyone to find out about his injury, but that was short-lived after he and Rowe posted pictures of his wounded leg on Instagram, sending social media into a frenzy.
It was inevitable that coach Kirby Smart would find out that his quarterback's leg had been mangled a bit in an offseason fishing excursion, so Fromm braced for the worst.
Instead, Smart, probably relieved that Fromm was going to have no problem walking again, texted him a picture of his friend with his own fishing accident -- a fishhook through his eyelid.
"It could have been worse," Fromm laughed.
Yeah, it sure could have been, and, with a little more sunlight, Fromm might have had an even better ending to tell.
"The story would have been a whole lot better if I had caught the fish."