Washington’s Jacob Eason declares for NFL draft

Washington quarterback Jacob Eason announced Thursday he will skip his final year of college and enter the NFL draft.

Eason started 13 games for Washington this season after beginning his college career at Georgia and transferring following his sophomore season. He threw for 3,132 yards and 23 touchdowns for the Huskies in a season where at times he looked like a sure first-round pick and at other times it appeared that another season of college would help.

“I want to thank everyone at the UW — my teammates, the coaching staff and the fans — for making these last two years so memorable,“ Eason said in a statement. “I’m very happy that I was able to come home and play for the Dawgs, and will always be grateful.”

Eason’s decision caps weeks of debate about his future. He chose to play in Washington’s bowl game victory over Boise State rather than follow the path of NFL-bound teammates Hunter Bryant and Trey Adams, who skipped the game.

Washington’s coaching change from Chris Petersen to Jimmy Lake and the subsequent decision to fire offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan added another layer to Eason’s decision.

Ultimately, the draw of the NFL won out.

“The opportunity to play quarterback in the NFL has been a lifelong dream and my heart is set on the challenge ahead,“ Eason wrote in a social media post.

Eason was a five-star recruit out of Lake Stevens, Wash., who opted to go across the country to play at Georgia. He started as a freshman for the Bulldogs but lost the job to Jake Fromm during his sophomore season after suffering an injury in the opener.

• Penn State has hired Kirk Ciarrocca as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, after he held the same role for Big Ten foe Minnesota for the past three seasons.

Independence Bowl: J’Mar Smith threw a touchdown pass and had a late scoring run to help Louisiana Tech beat Miami 14-0 in the only shutout in the Shreveport, La.., bowl’s 44-game history.

Louisiana Tech (10-3) reached double-digit victories for the first time since 1984 and ran its postseason winning streak to six — the longest current streak in the country.

“To have the 10-win season and to beat a Power 5 team in a bowl game, I can’t put into words my feelings and my emotions for what these players have accomplished,” coach Skip Holtz said after the game.

Quck Lane Bowl: Kenny Pickett threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Taysir Mack with 47 seconds left and Pittsburgh held on to beat Eastern Michigan 34-30 in Detroit.

After taking its first lead of the game, Pittsburgh (8-5) then forced Eastern Michigan (6-7) to turn the football over on downs from its 40. That sealed Pitt’s first bowl win in five appearances under coach Pat Narduzzi.

The Eagles came up just short, just as they did in three previous bowls under coach Chris Creighton.

Eastern Michigan quarterback Mike Glass was ejected with 10 seconds left after throwing punches at two players. Eagles cornerback Kevin McGill was ejected earlier for unsportsmanlike conduct.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/Washington-s-Jacob-Eason-declares-for-NFL-draft-14933612.php.

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