SEATTLE – The Jacob Eason Era is over.
Washington’s redshirt junior quarterback – who started for the Huskies in the 2019 season, after redshirting in 2018 – announced Thursday morning that he will declare for the 2020 NFL draft.
“Playing this season for the University of Washington has been one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Eason said in a tweet. “UW has given me an incredible opportunity to develop as a football player and a person, and I am forever grateful and honored to be a Husky.
“After contemplating my future with my family and coaches, I have decided to forgo my 5th year of college and enter the 2020 NFL draft. The opportunity to play quarterback in the NFL has been a lifelong dream, and my heart is set on the challenge ahead.”
On Dec. 19, ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. ranked Eason as his No. 4 quarterback prospect in the 2020 NFL draft, behind Oregon’s Justin Herbert (3), Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa (2) and LSU’s Joe Burrow (1). ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay did not include Eason in the first round of his most recent mock draft on Dec. 16. Scott Wright, a draft evaluator for WalterFootball.com, slotted Eason in the second round at No. 34 overall to the Indianapolis Colts in a mock draft that was updated on Wednesday.
“We wish Jacob nothing but the best,” UW head coach Jimmy Lake said in a statement. “He was a terrific teammate who worked very hard in his two years as a Husky. I’m looking forward to watching him succeed at the next level.”
In 13 games at Washington this season, the 6-foot-6, 227-pound quarterback from Lake Stevens completed 64.2% of his passes, throwing for 3,132 yards with 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He closed an undeniably brief UW career by completing 22 of 32 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown in the 38-7 Las Vegas Bowl win over Boise State on Saturday. When asked after the game about his impending draft decision, Eason said that “I’ve got to have a conversation with my family and these coaches and this team and figure it out.”
“He hadn’t played for a long time, until this year,” former UW head coach Chris Petersen said following the Las Vegas Bowl win. “I think he learned a lot of things and I think he’s growing. Whatever his future holds, I know it’s going to be bright.”
Still, Eason’s college career certainly didn’t go how many originally expected. A passing prodigy at Lake Stevens High School, Eason was ranked as a five-star recruit, the No. 1 player in the state of Washington and the No. 4 overall recruit in the 2016 class by 247Sports. He started 12 games as a true freshman for 8-5 Georgia in 2016, completing 55% of his passes while throwing for 2,430 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. After injuring his knee in the 2017 season opener, he was promptly replaced by four-star freshman Jake Fromm and transferred to UW after the season.
As for Eason’s successor in Seattle, Washington is slated to enter the 2020 season with three scholarship quarterbacks: redshirt sophomore Jacob Sirmon, redshirt freshman Dylan Morris and true freshman and early enrollee Ethan Garbers. A Bothell, Washington, product, Sirmon completed 2 of 3 passes for 19 yards in 2019. All three players were regarded as four-star prospects by 247Sports.
Washington also fired second-year offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bush Hamdan on Sunday.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.