Jacob Eason adds an intriguing arm to the Huskies' QB mix for 2019, but the battle for the No. 2 job behind Jake Browning is the most pressing question this spring.
The Huskies’ Sept. 1 season opener against Auburn is a mere 166 days away, and another season of great anticipation inches closer with the start of spring practices next week. Today, we begin a daily series of spring position previews with a look at the quarterbacks.
Jake Browning, sr., 6-2, 206
Jake Haener, rs-fr., 6-0, 196
Daniel Bridge-Gadd, so., 6-2, 211
K.J. Carta-Samuels (transferring to UCLA as a grad senior)
Jacob Eason, jr., 6-5, 235*
Jacob Sirmon, fr., 6-5, 223
Colson Yankoff, fr., 6-4, 211
*must redshirt in 2018 per NCAA transfer rules
SPRING OUTLOOK: Believe it or not, Jake Browning is entering his fourth spring with the Huskies. He’s entrenched as the starter and as a senior this fall should chase down just about every meaningful passing record in the UW record book. He is one of the best and most accomplished quarterbacks in program history … and yet Browning figures to be but a sidenote for the UW offense this spring. There is, rightfully so, much excitement building about the future at the quarterback position, as the Huskies welcome in three new additions to the offense this spring in Georgia transfer Jacob Eason and freshmen Jacob Sirmon and Colson Yankoff. The Huskies’ QB room right now has as much talent as it has ever had. Eason, the former Lake Stevens five-star recruit, transferred back home this winter. He is scheduled to enroll in spring-term classes at UW next week, after spending much of this winter working out with Jake Heaps, the Skyline High graduate and former Seahawks QB. Eason will sit out the 2018 season under NCAA transfer rules and is penciled in as the Huskies’ starting QB in 2019.
BIGGEST QUESTION: Who’s No. 2?
Browning’s backup the past three seasons, K.J. Carta-Samuels, is gone. He’s on track to finish up his undergraduate degree at UW this spring and then transfer to UCLA, where he will be eligible immediately as a senior graduate transfer. That leaves the all-important No. 2 QB job up for grabs with four scholarship quarterbacks in the mix: sophomore Daniel Bridge-Gadd, redshirt freshman Jake Haener, and Sirmon and Yankoff. All eyes will be on Sirmon and Yankoff at least early in the spring. Both freshmen enrolled at UW in January, giving them a head start in adjusting to college life and in learning the offensive playbook. Sirmon, the Bothell High product, is built in the mold of Eason — big and strong and an archetypical pocket passer. Yankoff, long, lean and athletic, could (eventually) add a new wrinkle to the offense as a true dual-threat QB. There is a real possibility one of those true freshmen ends up as the No. 2 QB this fall.
KEY STAT: 6.75
Yankoff ran one of the top-five fastest times (6.75 seconds) on the team in the three-cone drill during last week’s winter conditioning testing. The fastest time by a quarterback at this year’s NFL Combine in the three-cone drill was 6.90 seconds (South Florida’s Quinton Flowers).
BREAKOUT CANDIDATES: Haener, at 6-feet and 196 pounds, doesn’t have all the “tools” that has many people excited about Sirmon and Yankoff, but he’s not to be overlooked. He’s got some oomph on his throw and he drew strong reviews for his work during his redshirt season last fall, emerging as the No. 3 QB and earning the Bob Jarvis Offensive Scout Team MVP award. He should get plenty of snaps this spring to show what he can do.
Scheduling note: The Huskies will have the same schedule they’ve had the past few springs, with Monday-Wednesday-Friday-Saturday practices from March 28 through the April 21 spring scrimmage. As in the past, that April 21 scrimmage is the only opportunity for the general public to attend practice. That will also air on the Pac-12 Networks.