Jacob Eason will play for his home-state football program.
It wasn't a closely guarded secret, but Washington made it official Tuesday by announcing that the former Georgia quarterback has signed his transfer paperwork to join the program. While Washington didn't land the former five-star quarterback out of high school, it was among Eason's finalists.
Eason spent the past two seasons with Georgia and started 12 of the 13 games he appeared in as a true freshman.
However, in 2017, Eason went down with a sprained knee in the season opener against Appalachian State. That injury brought in Jake Fromm, who ended up remaining as the program's starting quarterback. Fromm ended the season throwing for 2,615 yards, 24 touchdowns and seven touchdowns.
During the postseason, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney explained why Georgia stuck with Fromm instead of Eason once he was healthy from the injury.
"We went out, Jacob wasn’t healthy yet, and we beat Notre Dame. We came back home and won another ball game (against Samford)," Chaney said. "You could see us starting to click and the ball starting to move down the field with relative ease. It was a good formula at that time. We never predetermined anything but you couldn’t make that change at the time, when Jacob got healthy. It wouldn’t have been the right thing at the time."
For Eason, it was the first time in a long while he was relegated to backup duty. Named the Gatorade National Player of the Year as a high school senior at Lake Stevens, Eason threw for 2,430 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions during his freshman season at Georgia.
Throughout last offseason, Eason did more than enough to hold off Fromm from taking his starting spot. After the season ended, head coach Kirby Smart said, during an appearance on 680 The Fan's "The Official Visit," that it was unfortunate the public didn't get to witness Eason's progression as a sophomore.
"It's sad that nobody got to see the growth that Jacob Eason had from year one to year two," Smart said. "We never really got to see that, other than a series there against App State."
While it was obviously a difficult decision for Eason to deal with, Fromm said his former teammate always stayed positive with him.
After the national championship loss to Alabama, Eason was caught on camera waiting on Fromm to enter the tunnel to the locker room to offer support after the hard-fought loss.
"Jacob, he's been an incredible teammate," Fromm said. "I couldn't ask anyone to be a better teammate than he has been to me. He's my roommate right now at the hotel and things couldn't be better between us."
Eason described his sophomore season at Georgia as a learning experience. While he wasn't playing in games, he still practiced the same way in the event he was needed to play.
"You still prepare like it’s the same as last year, like you’re the man," Eason said. "Ultimately I’ll get better in that regard. My game’s improved with a lot of practice. It’s been different role but I’m glad I’ve had that experience."