Jacob Eason says the decision to transfer to UW was "pretty easy" because "I grew up a Washington Huskies fan and (was) able to come down to games. I wanted to go somewhere where I could play in front of my family and friends."
During Jacob Eason’s official recruiting visit to the University of Washington in December 2015, offensive linemen Henry Roberts and Trey Adams were handpicked to serve as the five-star quarterback’s host that weekend.
One memorable dinner they had together that weekend was atop the Space Needle. Roberts felt a quick connection to the quarterback from Lake Stevens.
“We got all dressed up and went out and had a good time,” Roberts remembered.
The Huskies were disappointed to learn shortly after that weekend visit that Eason had reaffirmed his commitment to play for Georgia. Eason went on to win Georgia’s starting QB job as a true freshman.
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Fast-forward to the fall of 2017, after Eason went down with a minor knee injuring, opening the door for another freshman QB to take over at Georgia, and leaving Eason an opportunity to transfer home to Washington this winter.
“When there were rumors of him coming back here, it was super exciting,” Roberts said. “And right when we saw him (back on campus), it picked up right where it was. He’s a great guy. And when Jake (Browning) leaves and goes on and does better things, I think this will be a great fit for Eason.”
That’s another year away. For now, Eason is settling to his new environments at UW, learning a new playbook and building new relationships as he patiently awaits his turn to take the reins of the Huskies offense in 2019.
This spring, Eason has been, in effect, the No. 5 QB on the Huskies’ depth chart as he prepares to sit out the 2018 season under the NCAA’s transfer requirements. He will be a scout-team QB this fall.
“This year is definitely going to be a great year for learning and getting better in this program and making relationships with some of the guys and coaches on this team,” Eason said after practice Monday morning, his first interview with the Seattle media at large since his transfer.
“Yeah, it’s going to be a different year for sure, but … I’m still going to compete like I can play. Every practice, every rep you’ve got to get better and better. So that’s what I’m going to do.”
Granted his release from Georgia in January, Eason said he briefly considered other schools as transfer destinations — Notre Dame was reportedly one of them — but wanted to come home all along.
“It was pretty easy, honestly,” he said of the decision. “I grew up a Washington Huskies fan and (was) able to come down to games. I wanted to go somewhere where I could play in front of my family and friends, and also under a great coaching staff and great teammates. I felt like this was the best place to do it.”
He enrolled in UW spring-term classes on March 26 and had his first Husky spring practice two days later.
“I knew guys on this team when I went to Georgia. So coming back, I knew guys and I had talked to them, so the transition wasn’t bad,” he said. “And I’m 45 minutes from home and I could come down whenever. I’m excited to be here and contribute to this team.”
He says he has “a lot” to learn from Browning, entering his fourth season as the Huskies’ starting QB.
“There’s a lot to soak up from him on the field and off the field,” Eason said. “There’s a lot of things he does that I respect and he’s going to be able to teach me a lot of things, so I’m excited for this year and to see where that relationship goes.”
With two other touted quarterbacks — freshman Jacob Sirmon and Colson Yankoff — added to the mix, the Huskies’ QB room had much different look this spring. Eason says he’s trying to help the freshmen while they all learn the new playbook together.
“It’s different. It’s another one of those roles that I had to get used to doing, but it’s cool,” Eason said.
“Being a transfer, you have experiences from your other school playing as a freshman. Now you come here and you’ve got freshmen coming in, but also there’s an older guy (Browning) playing.
“So it’s a pretty unique experience, and I’m glad I’m in the spot that I’m in because there’s a lot of things I can learn from (Browning) and I can do what I can to help the younger guys.”