Jacob Eason is coming home.
The University of Washington football program announced Tuesday that the former Lake Stevens High School five-star recruit and University of Georgia quarterback is transferring to the hometown Huskies.
“Good to be home!! #PurpleReign,” Eason tweeted Tuesday.
Good to be home!! #PurpleReign
— Jacob Eason (@skinnyqb10) February 6, 2018
The 6-foot-5, 235-pound quarterback will have to sit out one season at Washington, per NCAA transfer rules. Eason likely will compete to succeed Jake Browning as the Huskies’ starting quarterback in 2019.
“Just super excited that he’s coming home and (that) we’ll get a chance to watch him play on Saturdays,” Lake Stevens football coach Tom Tri said. “It’s just a tremendous opportunity for (everybody) — whether it’s a Lake Stevens kid or a Lake Stevens family, or just people who grew up watching him and rooting for him.”
Eason, the 2015 Gatorade national high school player of the year, spent his first two college seasons at Georgia.
The strong-armed passer started as a true freshman in 2016, guiding the Bulldogs to an 8-5 season while completing 55.1 percent of his passes for 2,430 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Eason won the starting job heading into his sophomore year, but injured his knee in last September’s season opener.
True freshman quarterback Jake Fromm took over and never relinquished the starting role, helping lead Georgia to a Southeastern Conference title and a spot in the College Football Playoff national championship game, where the Bulldogs fell to Alabama in overtime.
Several days after the title game, Eason announced on Twitter that he was transferring.
Georgia is stockpiled at quarterback with Fromm set to return and incoming freshman Justin Fields — ranked by ESPN as the nation’s top recruit in the 2018 class — having signed with the Bulldogs.
Tri said he thinks Eason will thrive with the Huskies.
“I think the (offensive) style that UW is running right now fits a lot of the strengths that he’s going to bring — his arm strength, his footwork and his ability to get the ball out to athletes in short, medium and long distance,” Tri said.
“His arm strength is as good as about anybody out there right now, at any level,” he added. “And when you can stretch the field with your arm like that, that makes it a lot harder to defend. He’s going to bring some excitement for sure to that offense, which has already been a lot of fun to watch the last few years.”
To earn the starting job at Washington, Eason will have to fend off quarterbacks such as Bothell’s Jacob Sirmon and Coeur d’Alene’s Colson Yankoff, both of whom are ranked by ESPN as top-100 recruits in the 2018 class.
“I think he’s going to have great coaches who are going to continue his progression,” Tri said. “And he’ll be another year older. That just means another year of maturity and another year of growth — both physical and mental. I think he’s got a great opportunity to go and showcase all the skills that he has.”
Eason capped his decorated Lake Stevens career with an exceptional senior season, leading the Vikings to the Class 4A state semifinals while completing 69.5 percent of his passes for 3,585 yards, 43 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Eason, who was recruited by the Huskies, committed to Georgia in the summer prior to his junior season at Lake Stevens. He reconsidered his commitment after Georgia coach Mark Richt was fired in November 2015, but chose to stick with the Bulldogs.
“He’s proven himself by going and doing it in the SEC,” Tri said. “He’s a proven veteran who has played at the top level.
“And now that he’s going to be another year older and in a system that maybe will fit his strengths a little bit better, I think (Washington) should score some points and have a lot of fun doing it. And I see Jake being a big part of that.”