Five quarterbacks played for Washington during the Spring Preview on Saturday.
It appears three will suit up for the Huskies when training camp starts this summer.
A pair of redshirt freshman signal callers and former four-star prospects — Jacob Sirmon and Colson Yankoff — plan to leave the school and have entered the transfer portal, according to a source confirmed to The Times on Monday.
“He is in the portal,” Sirmon’s father, David Sirmon, said in an email to The Times on Monday night. “It is a gut-wrenching decision for him, but likely best for his welfare.”
Neither Sirmon nor Yankoff appeared in a game for UW during their true freshman seasons in 2018. Both players appeared to lag far behind junior Jacob Eason, the transfer from Georgia, and sophomore Jake Haener in the team’s quarterback competition throughout the spring. Another four-star prospect — Puyallup product Dylan Morris — enrolled early and practiced with the team in April as well.
Sirmon completed 4 of 8 passes for 30 yards and threw an interception that was returned by defensive back Isaiah Gilchrist for a touchdown in Saturday’s Spring Preview. Yankoff was 1-for-2 for 6 yards.
It’s worth noting that a player can technically withdraw his name from the transfer portal and remain at his current school. The decision to enter the portal simply allows outside coaching staffs to contact and pursue the player; it doesn’t guarantee that player’s departure.
Following the first practice of the spring on April 3, Husky head coach Chris Petersen emphasized the difficulty in splitting reps between five scholarship quarterbacks.
“All of the coaches handle that, and it’s hard at that position,” Petersen said. “I mean, if you have three quarterbacks it can be hard (to do) that. That is the one position where we can never truly get enough reps for, with one guy getting the reps and sometimes there are hand offs and those type of things.
“So we make a big deal with our whole team in terms of how we practice — the mental part of getting reps out there. That’s a whole other conversation that we spend every day in spring ball and through fall camp teaching how to do this, because you just can’t get them enough reps.”
It appears that won’t be as much of a problem come August.
Prior to the Huskies’ 2018 signing class, Florida in 2007 was the last program to sign a pair of top-100 quarterback prospects in the same class, according to ESPN. Sirmon — a 6-foot-5, 235-pound quarterback from Bothell — was ranked as the No. 8 pro-style passer and the No. 171 overall recruit in the 2018 class, according to 247Sports. The 6-4, 210-pound Yankoff — a Hayden, Idaho, native and former Oregon commit — was regarded as 247Sports’ No. 5 dual-threat quarterback and No. 119 overall prospect.
Yankoff also showcased his considerable athleticism during last month’s Husky Combine, finishing first on the team in the 3-cone drill (6.50 seconds) and fifth in the vertical jump (38.5 inches). For all five Husky signal callers, athleticism wasn’t an issue.
“Every one of those guys has a strong enough arm,” offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bush Hamdan said of his team’s five-pronged quarterback competition last week. “Every one of those guys is working towards making better decisions and being accurate. But the guys that can stay neutral, focus on their game, focus on one day at a time getting better, that’s going to be the guy who ends up taking it.”
In the wake of senior quarterback Jake Browning’s departure, Eason, Haener and Morris will continue that competition this fall. Eason — a former five-star prospect, Lake Stevens product and the heavy favorite to start this season — completed 7 of 12 passes for 42 yards and a touchdown, while being sacked four times, in the Spring Preview. Haener — who completed 9 of 13 passes for 107 yards with a touchdown and an interception in four games as Browning’s back up last fall — finished 9-for-16 for 61 yards and an interception in the scrimmage.
A pair of high school quarterbacks — three-star 2020 prospect Ethan Garbers and five-star 2021 recruit Sam Huard — are verbally committed to UW as well.
The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.