The 6’6 junior was a consensus 5-star and the #1 QB prospect in the country coming out of nearby Lake Stevens high school. He spurned the Huskies initially and committed to Georgia where there was a clear path to the starting job. There was thought that Eason might change his mind when Mark Richt was let go but Kirby Smart came in and got him to hold his commitment.
Eason was the day 1 starter in Athens and had a so-so year as a true freshman with a lot of arm talent but little experience and less than ideal weapons. He completed 55.1% of his passes for 2,430 yards and 16 TDs against 8 INTs playing for 8-5 Georgia. Eason again won the job out of camp competing against 5-star true freshman Jake Fromm but Eason was injured in the season opener and forced to miss a few weeks. During that time Fromm pulled off a road upset against a ranked Notre Dame team and the coaching staff decided they wouldn’t make a change while the team was winning. They didn’t lose a game until week 10 and by then it was clear that Eason had been good and truly benched. He decided to transfer to Washington despite Georgia losing in OT of the title game.
Unlike just about every other 5-star QB in the world, Jacob Eason sat out the 2018 season using his redshirt and serving as the scout team QB while Jake Browning played his senior year. He entered spring ball in a competition with Jake Haener and most fans never took it seriously that Eason was truly challenged. The competition didn’t end until the week before the season when Eason was named the starter while Haener quickly transferred to Fresno State.
It looked like Eason would be an immediate star after passing for 349 and 4 touchdowns in the season opener against Eastern Washington. But things crashed down to earth in the abysmal Cal game when he threw for just over 5 yards per attempt with 0 TDs and 1 INT. That began a somewhat up and down year where when Eason had a clean pocket he could pick teams apart fitting the ball into tight windows. When forced to use his limited ability escaping the rush then he either took sacks or made poor decisions. Eason finished the season throwing for 3,132 yards with 23 TDs and 8 INTs. The passing yardage numbers were essentially identical to Jake Browning but Eason had an edge on the TD/INT stats while offering less with his legs.
After the BYU game it would’ve been almost a lock in Vegas that Eason would be off to the NFL. That sentiment started to change after the 3 game stretch of Utah/Oregon State/Colorado when Washington went 1-2 and Eason averaged just 5.9 yards per attempt with 5 TDs and 5 INTs. Especially since the worst two games were against Oregon State and Colorado who had some of the worst pass defenses in the conference. However, when Chris Petersen stepped down and Bush Hamdan was let go it meant an entirely new offense and Eason decided the risk of a down year in a mystery offense wasn’t worth it. It is somewhat of a surprise that Eason didn’t wait to find out who the OC was going to be but he has likely had talks with Jimmy Lake to figure out what the general plan is even if he doesn’t know the exact name.
Oftentimes in the NFL it’s better to have less tape than more because it gives teams fewer chances to pick you apart. There are serious flaws in Eason’s game. He has poor pocket awareness and must learn to climb up in the pocket in the NFL to buy time. But he also has one of the strongest arms we’ve ever seen and there will likely be at least one franchise willing to use either a 1st or 2nd round pick on Eason after seeing him at the combine/pro days when there’s not a pass rush coming. Hopefully for Eason’s sake that team will have a bridge quarterback so he can learn on the job for a year.
Without Eason the Huskies are due to have three QBs on the roster with a combined 0 starts between them. Rising RS Sophomore Jacob Sirmon was the backup this season and is the only one who has taken college snaps but he will be pushed heavily by redshirt freshman Dylan Morris and true freshman Ethan Garbers. All 3 were 4-star prospects coming out of high school and the hope is that at least one of them proves ready. The Huskies also are losing their two leading receivers, 3 offensive linemen, and potentially leading running back (depending on what Salvon Ahmed decides about the NFL Draft). Combine that with a new offensive coordinator and it will be a tough year 1 for whoever wins the job. However, with Puka Nacua hopefully coming back from injury and a late season emergence from Terrell Bynum and Cade Otton (not to mention highly talented young’ins like Marquis Spiker and Jalen McMillan) the cupboard is not entirely bare.
We wish Jacob the best of luck as he tries to pursue his NFL dreams!