The prized recruit for the Huskies' 2018 class is already meeting weekly with UW coach Chris Petersen and offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith to study film and learn the playbook.
Academically, he is still just a junior at Bothell High School, and yet Jacob Sirmon is already deep into a graduate-level course in Advanced Quarterbacking at the University of Washington.
Talking senior season goals with Jacob Sirmon (1:03.50 mark)
Sirmon, Bothell’s blue-chip quarterback, made a verbal commitment to the Huskies after his sophomore season in December 2015, the first recruit to join UW’s Class of 2018. In some ways, he already feels like a member of the team. Sirmon regularly visits the UW football offices to learn the Huskies’ playbook and break down film with coach Chris Petersen and offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith.
“In eight months I’ll graduate (from Bothell) early and become a quarterback at the University of Washington, so I’ve asked them to coach me and teach me like you would coach a quarterback on your (roster),” said Sirmon, rated as a five-star recruit by 247sports.com. “I’m probably there at least once a week breaking down film, watching ‘install’ playbooks from what they’ll do in the spring and try to get a jump start on the playbook as early as right now.”
Sirmon’s goal is to eventually succeed Jake Browning as the Huskies’ starting quarterback. UW coaches are helping to hasten those plans. With Smith, Sirmon says he typically studies some of the nuances of quarterback play by breaking down film of Browning and learning to read defenses.
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The time he spends with Petersen, Sirmon says, is more about developing life and leadership qualities.
“He has his own personal leadership classes,” Sirmon said. “He takes aside a couple players every year from each class and walks them through what it looks like to be a leader, how we can lead by example and inspire others to be the best versions of themselves. So when I’m in there we talk a lot about that kind of stuff, what it looks like on and off the field.
“It’s really awesome, because these are things I’ll learn and can apply at Bothell as well as UW. So ‘Pete’ gets a head start on coaching me with his philosophies and what he wants to see in his quarterback, and then I can bring that back to Bothell to be the best leader and teammate I can be.”
Per NCAA rules, high school prospects are allowed to make such unofficial visits to campuses during what is now a “quiet period” on the recruiting calendar.
“It’s a great blessing to have to live so close to UW so I can get in there frequently enough to really talk and bond with Coach Pete and Coach Smith,” said Sirmon, whose father, David, is an associate professor in UW’s Foster School of Business. “I feel that’ll give me a great head start once I graduate and start attending (UW).”
This offseason, Sirmon has been training with two quarterback coaches and working out at the Tracy Ford Sports Performance in Bellevue. He says he’s added muscle — he’s up to 225 pounds now — to his 6-foot-4-1/2 frame. He’s also playing in two 7-on-7 passing leagues and will be in Las Vegas this weekend for an elite 7-on-7 tournament.
Since his announcing his commitment to the Huskies 14 months ago, Sirmon has been recruited by the likes Alabama, Michigan, UCLA, LSU, Louisville and others. He’s flattered by the attention, but says he has not been tempted by any other offer.
“The recruiting process is a business, and so as a staff it’s their job to recruit the best players they can find. So some of these college staffs believe that can be found in me,” he said. “The way I treat it: I’m respectful to everyone; I value every college’s interest and their offer, but my decision still stands. I feel at home at Washington, and the reasons I committed there are all still the same: Coach Pete and that staff is the right fit for me, and so as far as the recruiting side of things nothing’s changed.”
In December, Sirmon’s cousin, Jack Sirmon, made a verbal commitment to the Huskies, making the Sirmons the first two recruits on board for the 2018 class. Jack Sirmon, the son of former UW linebackers coach Peter Sirmon, is a three-star linebacker from Brentwood, Tenn.
“To have the opportunity to play college football together at the highest level, that’s going to be kind of a dream come true for both of us,” Jacob Sirmon said.
Jacob Sirmon has taken an active role in recruiting others to join the 2018 class, too. One of his targets was Austin Osborne, a four-star receiver from Mission Viejo, Calif., who made an unofficial visit to UW earlier this month. Sirmon went out to dinner with Osborne and his family, and the next day the receiver made a verbal commitment to the Huskies.
“I take that on (to do) my best to meet the guys and talk to them and kind of make them feel at home with the Huskies,” Jacob Sirmon said. “With me, Jacks and Austin as early commits in the 2018 class, I believe it’s a really great start for how things are going to shape up here.”