Jacob Eason has at least 20 high school football games left to play for Lake Stevens. If the Vikings are as good as expected, that number should rise fairly considerably over the next two seasons.
The pressure for Eason could rise, too, but he’s happy his main concern will be with high school football and not with the hectic world of recruiting. Eason, a highly touted quarterback, assured himself that much a couple of months ago when he made a decision on where he would play college football.
Over the summer, Eason took a trip with his dad. His father, Tony Eason, is a former receiver at Notre Dame (not the former NFL quarterback). On the itinerary were stops that included Notre Dame, Michigan, Georgia, Alabama and Florida State. It’s been more than a year since the phone calls from college coaches started in earnest at the Eason home.
They were constant, reaching 30 or more a day at times. Eason’s first offer came just before the Vikings played Edmonds-Woodway last season. It was from Oregon State.
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“I know he was not planning on committing anywhere during the trip,” Lake Stevens coach Tom Tri said. “The goal was to limit it to a top five and to focus on them instead of 20, 25 calling him all the time.”
But something happened on the trip. Eason found the place.
Though he’s only entering his junior season, Eason gave a verbal commitment to coach Mark Richt at Georgia.
“It just was the place for me, a perfect fit,” Eason said. “It’s a blessing to be able to choose where I want to go to school.”
Lest anyone think the job is done, though, Eason knows better.
“I’m going to keep working,” Eason said. “I want to be the best I can be.”
Where that work will take the Vikings nobody knows. But the quest begins Friday at home with a nonleague contest against Meadowdale, the team picked to win the WesCo 3A South this season. One week later, Lake Stevens plays against the WesCo 3A North favorite, Marysville-Pilchuck.
“I can go back now and just play the best two years of high school I can here,” Eason said. “I can now put all my effort into my hometown, and hopefully bring a state title to Lake Stevens.”
The first step toward that goal took place during the past year when Eason started working with quarterback guru Lavelle Durant to improve his footwork.
“As a result, his feet really are much better,” Tri said.
“I saw video of me as a freshman,” Eason said. “I looked like I was taking my drop in molasses.”
The arm — that’s a different story.
“His arm strength has gotten better,” Tri said. “Jacob has the best arm I’ve seen in a long, long, long time.”
And Tri isn’t the only one who has noticed that.
“We didn’t play them at UW (during summer league),” Marysville-Pilchuck coach Brandon Carson said. “But we played next to them. He (Eason) was slinging it around pretty good.”
Eason already knows where that arm is taking him — to the Southeastern Conference. But where it takes Lake Stevens and his teammates still is in question.
“I know there will be a lot of people watching me,” Eason said. “Maybe that will get some of my teammates on the radar, too. I’ve been excited since June. We’ve got a lot of potential.”