It wasn’t long ago that Washington was in the playoff and Jake Browning was on top of the World. They came crashing back to reality and Browning was never the same.
Now that the Browning era has ended, Jacob Eason is trying to bring Washington back to dominance. But can Eason get them over the hump and become a playoff team again?
Eason’s Road to Washington
Eason had all of the hype coming out of high school. He was a five star ranked fifth in the county and the Gatorade Player of the Year. The Washington product decided to leave home and committed to Georgia out of High School.
In his first year as a starter he had some growing pains to work through. Playing against stacked defenses in the SEC, Eason had 16 touchdowns to go along with eight interceptions. It was an up and down year but there was promise.
Going into 2017 and Eason was being pushed by incoming recruit, Jake Fromm. Eason was named the starter but was injured in the first game against Appalachian State. Fromm took over and that was the end of Jacob Eason at Georgia.
Getting Washington Back
Now with Eason back home, the pressure has been climbing before he has had a chance to play a single game. Most look at his measurables and high school recruiting tape when saying he is a future first round pick.
Even with the six foot six inch frame, all of the high school accolades and a rocket arm, critics still point to his first season as a Bulldog.
At Georgia, Eason had all the talent he could ever need around him but still didn’t perform as well as most would hope. I would write it off as a Freshman learning the ropes and adjusting to the college game. But the landscape is changing and freshman are stepping in and performing from the jump.
The biggest issue is trying to judge a former high school star that we haven’t seen in real action since 2016. He only had seven attempts in 2017 and sat out 2018 after the transfer.
Lucky for Eason, he has one of the best coaches in the country and a favorable schedule in a weak conference.
Path to the Playoff
Eason comes into the season after sitting and getting a year to learn the system. Washington also gets most of their difficult games at home:
- Oregon @ home
- USC @ home
- Utah @ home
- Washington State @ home
They do have to play @ Stanford but I wouldn’t consider that a hostile environment. Out of conference they play Hawaii, BYU and FCS power, Eastern Washington.
While the PAC-12 should improve in 2019, this is still an overall weak conference. Combined that with a weak out of conference schedule and Eason has a favorable schedule to a playoff berth.
If Eason struggles, it would be on him. Chris Petersen has proven himself as a great coach and Washington has been bringing in plenty of talent. With a recent history of offensive talent such as John Ross, Bishop Sankey, Dante Pettis and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, I wouldn’t expect it to taper off.
Eason has a receiving core returning that had over 150 catches in 2018 and 15 touchdowns.
Jacob Eason has the coach, the background, the supporting cast and the favorable schedule. Eason spent a year learning and it all falls on his shoulders. For someone that has already had immense pressure on him, it is time to step up.
Not to add any more pressure, but the whole country is watching.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Love all things college football and hate all things Michigan Wolverines