For Jake Luton, a long and difficult football journey will ultimately wind up in the NFL.
The former Marysville Pilchuck standout and Oregon State quarterback, was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the sixth round (189th overall) in the NFL draft on Saturday.
“This means the world to me,” Luton said in an interview on the Jaguars’ website. “It’s where I’ve always wanted to be since I was a little kid.”
In his final two high school seasons, Luton guided the Tomahawks to back-to-back state quarterfinals appearances and was a finalist for The Herald’s 2014 Boys Athlete of the Year award.
Luton originally signed with Idaho out of high school before transferring to Ventura Community College where he became a Junior College All-American. Luton then transferred to Oregon State, where he played three additional seasons after receiving a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA due to injuries.
For Luton, getting drafted was the latest step in a long football road.
“I think it’s only made me a better player and a better person,” Luton said. “I think I’ve dealt with a little adversity. I’m ready for anything that’s going to be thrown at me. I’m just ready to compete and help the team any way I can.”
As a redshirt senior this past season, Luton threw for 2,714 yards and 28 touchdowns with just three interceptions. Now he will have a shot to make an NFL roster. He will likely slot in behind former Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew, the presumed starter for the Jaguars.
“This is a day I’ve dreamed of, but to me it’s just another step in the journey,” Luton said. “I’m excited for what’s next and diving into the playbook. I’m really enjoying it right now. I don’t know if it’s fully sunk in yet, but I’m really excited.”
Mosese Fifita, a Glacier Peak alum and defensive tackle at Air Force, and Austin Joyner, a Marysville Pilchuck alum and former defensive back at Washington, both went undrafted. Both players are eligible to sign with NFL teams as free agents.