Jacob Eason, after much speculation, is finally coming to Washington.
The school announced Tuesday the former Georgia quarterback and Lake Stevens native will return home and play for the Huskies. Eason, days after the season ended, tweeted he would be leaving UGA to play at another program.
Eason can enroll at UW and begin taking classes. He can also practice with the team but will have to sit out a year due to NCAA rules. The soonest he could get behind center for UW would be the 2019 season.
Hugh Millen, a former UW quarterback and KJR 950 AM analyst, recently said Eason would have “the strongest arm in the history of Husky Football.”
“We’re not talking about a guy who can throw hard,” said Millen, who played eight NFL seasons. “He was good enough to be deemed the No. 1 pocket passer in the country.”
Rivals rated Eason as the No. 1 pro-style quarterback prospect in 2016. 247 Sports viewed him No. 2. But both recruiting services considered Eason a five-star prospect.
Listed at 6-foot-5 and 207 pounds, he had the build of an NFL quarterback and the arm strength to go with it.
In his senior year Eason threw for 3,585 yards, 43 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He completed 69.5 percent of his passes while averaging around 276 yards per game.
Many schools wanted Eason but he stuck with his commitment to Georgia and its coach, Mark Richt, in 2014. He came to Athens in 2016, the same year Richt was fired by Georgia.
Richt’s replacement, Kirby Smart, oversaw Eason’s freshman campaign. After winning the starting job, Eason won eight games as a true freshman and threw for 2,430 yards and 16 TDs. Eason began the 2017 season as the starter but was hurt in the first quarter of the season opener.
It opened the door for true freshman quarterback Jake Fromm. Frohm would lead Georgia to a 31-10 victory and the following week, he guided UGA to a 20-19 win at Notre Dame.
Fromm became starter and led the Bulldogs to the College Football Playoff final where they lost to Alabama in overtime.
Talk of Eason leaving Athens grew throughout the season.
Smart has made a point of keeping the state’s best players at home. It’s how he snatched Fromm, a former Alabama commit, away from the Crimson Tide.
Fromm, a native of Warner Robins, Georgia, was a five-star prospect. He was the centerpiece of Smart’s first class which was among the Top 3 in the nation.
UGA and Smart currently have the No. 1 recruiting class in America, per 247 and Rivals. It’s a group which also features five-star quarterback Justin Fields.
Fields, who is the No. 1 dual-threat passer in the nation, is from Kennesaw, Georgia.
“It’s huge for recruiting because those kids aren’t just any other kids,” Mike Farrell, a national recruiting analyst for Rivals, recently said. “Justin Fields, for example, has been extremely important for recruiting other talent to Georgia.
“The message is to ‘stay home and win a championship together.’ ... Jacob Eason was an important recruit when he was in high school but he can’t speak Georgia. That’s a different language.”
Brandon Huffman, the national recruiting editor for 247, hailed the Eason transfer as a big move for the Huskies.
UW will have current starting quarterback Jake Browning for this season, allowing Eason the 2018 season to learn the system under new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bush Hamdan, which should set him up to be the starter in 2019.
“They’d have a guy who has started in the toughest conference in college football,” Huffman said, nodding to Eason’s time in the SEC. “He’s practiced against one of the toughest defenses in college football.
“His preparation will be further along than (Colson) Yankoff and (Jacob) Sirmon.”
UW already signed two four-star quarterbacks in Sirmon and Yankoff.
Sirmon, who is 6-4 and 227 pounds, is an Under Armour All-American. 247 and Rivals considered Sirmon among the Top 7 pro-style quarterbacks in the nation.
Yankoff, who is 6-4 and around 200 pounds, is viewed by both 247 and Rivals to be a Top 10 dual-threat quarterback.
The Huskies will have five quarterbacks going into the 2018 season. It’s possible Browning’s backup could be sophomore Daniel Bridge-Gadd, a former Gatorade Player of the Year in Arizona.
Adding Eason could result in UW not needing to rush Sirmon and Yankoff in their development.
“If this happens,” Millen said about Eason playing for UW, “every single Husky fan will have a ‘holy crap’ moment when they see him do something with the football they’ve never seen anyone do before.”
Ryan S. Clark: @ryan_s_clark