Jake Haener leaves Washington a day after losing QB competition

Yahoo Sports

Well that was fast.

A day after not being named the starting quarterback at Washington, Jake Haener has decided to transfer. Washington announced the news on Saturday with a brief statement.

“Sophomore quarterback Jake Haener has elected to leave the Washington football program, effective immediately,” the statement said.

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Haener was the backup behind four-year starter Jake Browning for the Huskies last fall. He saw action in three games, completing 9-of-13 passes for 107 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

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Entering 2019, Haener competed with heralded Georgia transfer Jacob Eason for the starting job. Eason, a former five-star recruit, started as a true freshman at Georgia back in 2016. He then entered 2017 as UGA’s starter, but was injured early in the year. By the time he was healthy, Jake Fromm had entrenched himself as the Bulldogs’ starter. After the season, Eason decided to transfer back to his home state.

After losing the Washington quarterback competition, Jake Haener has decided to leave the program. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
After losing the Washington quarterback competition, Jake Haener has decided to leave the program. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Eason, who redshirted in 2018, was officially named UW’s starter on Friday. However, Washington coach Chris Petersen said Haener would also see time in the team’s opener against Eastern Washington next Saturday.

“Obviously two really good quarterbacks, tight competition,” Petersen said per the Tacoma News Tribune. “You take it as long as you can. You got to make a decision and roll with it. Jake Haener will play in our first game. He should, he deserves it and he will.”

Haener evidently was not on board with that plan, and now UW will likely go with redshirt freshman Jacob Sirmon (yes, another Jake) as the No. 2 quarterback. Sirmon was a four-star recruit in the 2018 class. The only other scholarship quarterback on the roster is true freshman Dylan Morris, four-star 2019 recruit.

Haener is the second quarterback to leave UW this year. Colson Yankoff, a redshirt freshman, transferred to UCLA.

Similar situation at Mississippi State

Washington isn’t the only program to deal with some quarterback attrition. On Friday, multiple outlets reported that Mississippi State QB Keytaon Thompson had entered his name into the transfer portal. The news came after Thompson lost the MSU competition to Tommy Stevens, a graduate transfer from Penn State. Stevens played under MSU head coach Joe Moorhead when Moorhead was the offensive coordinator at PSU.

Thompson was MSU’s No. 2 quarterback behind Nick Fitzgerald in 2016 and 2017. He saw quite a bit of action during that time, including two starts. He threw for 846 yards and eight touchdowns, but completed only 47.6 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 672 yards and 10 scores for the Bulldogs. Thompson, a former top-100 recruit, should have plenty of suitors on the transfer market.

North Carolina loses redshirt freshman

Elsewhere, North Carolina reportedly saw redshirt freshman QB Cade Fortin put his name in the transfer portal after coach Mack Brown announced that true freshman Sam Howell would begin taking reps with the first-team offense ahead of the season opener.

Fortin, who played in four games a year ago when UNC was coached by Larry Fedora, was competing with Howell and redshirt freshman Jace Ruder for the starting job. Fortin, a three-star recruit in 2018, completed 32-of-65 passes for 388 yards, one touchdown and an interception last year. He also rushed for 76 yards and a score.

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