Jake Browning becomes the first true freshman to start a season as Washington’s quarterback., nine months after he set the national prep record with 229 touchdown passes for Folsom (Calif.) High School.
Washington coach Chris Petersen is back Boise with a Kellen Moore clone as his quarterback. The Jake Browning era has started early for the Huskies.
Less than an hour before kickoff, UW announced that Browning will start at QB against No. 23 Boise State on Friday night.
Browning becomes the first true freshman to start a season as Washington’s quarterback., nine months after he set the national prep record with 229 touchdown passes for Folsom (Calif.) High School.
Browning beat out junior Jeff Lindquist and redshirt freshman K.J. Carta-Samuels for the starting job.
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A year ago, Browning was wrapping up one of the nation’s prolific high school careers while leading Folsom to a 16-0 season and a California state championship. He threw with 16,775 yards in three years as Folsom’s starter.
Browning, 6-feet-2 and 206 pounds, has drawn comparisons to Moore, the former Boise State star who as a four-year starter for Petersen’s Broncos won more games than any quarterback in college football history.
Petersen has tried temper some of the heightened expectations surrounding Browning, but the second-year UW coach also agreed there are “a lot” of similarities between Browning and Moore.
Earlier this month, in his first and only interview availability with local media, Browning said he would let his play set the tone for his ability as a leader.
“I don’t think anyone would take me serious if I was a rah-rah guy,” he said. “I think leadership, when you’re a new guy, you want to be careful. … Just make sure you bring intensity with every single rep, like this is important to me. Hopefully, that reflects off and some of the other guys pick that up.”
Browning, 19, whose father, Ed, played quarterback at Oregon State from 1987-91, committed to UW in March 2014, signed a financial-aid agreement in September, graduated high school early and enrolled at UW in January.
Petersen has never played a true freshman at quarterback, but he said the quarterback’s early arrival at UW coupled with his experience in Folsom’s spread offense — which is similar to the Huskies’ spread — made Browning a viable candidate to play this season.
“His level of education coming in is different. It’s very different,” Petersen told The Times last month.
It seems more freshman quarterbacks are ready to contribute immediately in college football.
UCLA also settled on a true freshman, Josh Rosen, as its quarterback earlier this week. Oregon State coaches say true freshman Seth Collins and redshirt freshman Marcus McMaryion.
Two years ago, Jared Goff won the starting job for California as a true freshman.
Since he was 10 years old, Browning has worked closely with Folsom coach Troy Taylor, Cal’s all-time leading passer who also was Cal’s QB coach in the 1990s.
“Jake’s beyond-his-years mature,” Taylor said last month. “He knows how to manage his time and he’s really good at eliminating distractions, which I think is really going to help him there. He’s basically been doing the college thing for three years, with as much time he put into it (while at Folsom). …
“I do believe there’s special gifts that he’s developed.”