Which Washington Quarterback Will Michigan Face Next Fall?

Brandon Brown

In a little under eight months, Michigan will travel to Seattle for the 2020 season opener against the Washington Huskies. On that Saturday, Washington will be breaking in a new quarterback. 

The day after Christmas, Washington's former starter, Jacob Eason, let the college football world know that he would be foregoing his final season as a Husky to head to the NFL.

Now, Michigan has to prepare for an unknown and unproven signal caller and perhaps even a player not on the roster yet. Mike Martin of HuskyMaven.com broke down all three candidates battling for the starting role.

"You'll have sophomore-to-be Jacob Sirmon, redshirt freshman Dylan Morris and incoming freshman Ethan Garbers," Martin said.

"Sirmon is a four-star kid, local kid out of Bothell High School. He has an absolute cannon for an arm. If you watch his highlight from high school, he’s standing on the goal line with a dude wrapped around his ankles and with a flick of the wrist he throws the ball 60 yards downfield. Everybody talks about Jacob Eason’s arm talent but Jacob Sirmon has a lot to offer as well. He doesn’t have the 6-6 stature at 6-3, but he’s built pretty well to be sturdy in the pocket. 

"Morris didn’t see any action this past season. He’s a little bit slight of build but he has a good arm and he delivers, probably out of the two quarterbacks on the roster right now, the most catchable ball. You won’t see the 50 to 70-yard pass in the air out of the guy, but you will see a high percentage of completions on underneath routes, which is where Eason kind of struggled. Eason always kind of delivered a heavy ball whereas Morris delivers a perfect, easy-to-catch ball. As a freshman, people expected him to push for playing time.

"Those two are the ones to keep an eye on as far as time in the system. Garbers is a kid out of California who won a state championship after going 16-0 this past season. He’s also bringing a friend and tight end Mark Redman with him. Those two hooked up a lot over the season and Garbers threw for over 5,000 yards as a senior. He was also kind of the leader of the recruiting class. There’s a lot of talent with him. 

"He’s not a system quarterback. He runs the ball well and throws the ball well. He seems to have the ability to read the field pretty well. According to his Redman, he’s a tough kid and doesn’t ever look to slide. He doesn’t shy away from contact and seems to be an aggressive player overall. Jimmy Lake wants to have an aggressive, attacking offense and that seems to fit Garbers well. He hasn’t lost much but he doesn’t like it one single bit. He definitely plays with a chip on his shoulder."

Martin also made mention of UW potentially adding a graduate transfer under new head coach Jimmy Lake.

"In the spring, after spring ball, Jacob Sermon put his name in the transfer portal but they pulled him back. I think that, to me, was the telling thing. That told me that Eason was leaving back then and the coaches probably told Sermon to stick around," Martin explained. "All he’s ever done is a little bit of mop-up duty so we’ve never really seen what he has to offer. Based on what I’ve seen of him in high school, I think he’s definitely a talented kid. I think if things go well during the spring, he could be the guy.

"With that said, given what we saw with with Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts and Justin Fields, don’t rule out that possibility with Jimmy Lake. I think he has a different philosophy than Coach [Chris] Petersen. I think he may look to see who’s out there to either add some depth or push the level of quarterback play all the way up the charts." 

Washington is a very solid team and obviously Michigan is traveling a long way to play them in their house. The Huskies will be breaking in a new coach and quarterback, but U-M has plenty of new holes to fill as well, including a similar situation at QB. It's going to be really interesting to see how things play out for both teams over the next several months as we march toward that season opener on Sept. 5. 

Who do you think will start at quarterback for Washington? For Michigan? Comment below!!!