In a partially surprising development, according to multiple sources, freshmen UW quarterbacks Jacob Sirmon and Colson Yankoff have placed their names in the transfer portal. The news was first reported by Tom Loy of 247Sports.
Placing their names in the transfer portal makes it legal for other programs to directly contact them so each can determine whether a transfer is in his best interest. It does not mean that they are officially gone from the program yet, but it appears things are heading in that direction.
Both players were ranked in the top 100 overall of the 247 composite recruiting rankings in the class of 2018 and each redshirted this past fall. During spring practices which concluded on Saturday, it appeared that Jacob Sirmon was likely to finish third on the depth chart and Colson Yankoff fourth, with Dylan Morris bringing up the rear as the true freshman.
I say this is partially surprising because it had long been assumed that one of the pair would transfer. You almost never see a pair of highly touted QBs in the same recruiting class because it’s essentially impossible for both to wind up as starters unless one leaves early for the NFL and the other waits for a full four years. In the modern era of college football where transfer requests are almost always approved and there is pseudo-free agency with regards to college quarterbacks, it has become the norm.
But it is a shock to see both players enter the portal. There had been some discussion that with an above average season, and given his physical gifts, Jacob Eason might be one and done at Washington which would open up the starting spot again for 2020 when Sirmon/Yankoff are redshirt sophomores. However, if both ultimately transfer it would seem to suggest that they believe that either Eason is entrenched as the starter for multiple seasons or that they don’t see it likely that they win the job over Jake Haener, Dylan Morris, and class of 2020’s Ethan Garbers. And in 2021 the Huskies have a commit from 5-star Sam Huard.
If both Yankoff and Sirmon do end up transferring it would leave the Huskies relatively thin for this upcoming season. The Huskies are likely comfortable having Jacob Eason and Jake Haener as their starter and backup entering the season but I’m sure that Pete would much prefer to have a more seasoned option than true freshman Dylan Morris as the third QB and would certainly like to have a fourth QB on the roster as well.
There is still a very reasonable path to the Huskies having a stellar QB situation for the next half-decade plus. It might even be the most likely scenario. Jacob Eason is very good this season but decides to come back for a second season in 2020. Then Sam Huard comes in 2021 and challenges all of Jake Browning’s four-year records, having as much instant success as recent QB phenoms Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence. As insurance the Huskies would still have Jake Haener, 4-star Dylan Morris, and Ethan Garbers during that time. But the margin of error becomes much thinner; one injury and one guy not developing as expected would have a much greater potential of ruining a season with the absence of both Sirmon and Yankoff.
We’ll obviously be paying close attention to how this situation develops over the coming weeks. Maybe Sirmon or Yankoff discover the grass isn’t all that much greener on the other side and stick it out at Washington. But if they both leave, then what looked like one of the most loaded QB rooms in all of college football will suddenly be getting a whole lot weaker.