During his recruiting visit to the Washington campus earlier this month, Jake Browning attended the Huskies men’s basketball game against UCLA with UW coach Chris Petersen.
“He’s awesome,” said Browning, who sat to Petersen’s left in the Alaska Airlines Arena stands. “We went to the UW-UCLA basketball game together, and the ref made a bad call against Washington and he started booing really loud. It was great.”
One of the nation’s top quarterback recruits, Browning had such a great time that he wants to come back for more. Browning, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound quarterback from Folsom, Calif., called UW offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith and then Petersen on Monday morning to inform them that he was verbally committing to the Huskies’ Class of 2015.
“I really like them, I really like the town and I really like the university,” said Browning, the son of former Oregon State quarterback Ed Browning.
Rated a four-star recruit by Scout and 247sports.com, Browning was named the California Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior in 2013 after breaking the state record with 75 touchdown passes.
He chose UW over offers from Alabama, Washington State, Colorado, Oklahoma State, Boise State and others. The first call he made Monday was to WSU offensive line coach Clay McGuire, with whom he had gotten close during the recruiting process.
“I just went to visit there (in Pullman), and I wanted him to hear it from me first,” Browning said.
Browning had also visited California, and he cancelled planned visits to Colorado and Oklahoma State.
He made his announcement on Twitter, holding a UW sweatshirt in a photo with his 2-year-old sister, Ella, and said he’s both excited and relieved to have made his decision.
“Excited that I committed there … and relief that it’s all worked, and that I ended up at a school that I think I’m going to really like,” he said. “I thought Seattle was awesome. I know it rains a lot, but I’m not running away from the rain. I’m spoiled in northern California.”
Browning was born in the Portland area and moved to northern California when he was 5. He’s part of a pass-first spread offense at Folsom, and said he’s most comfortable in the pocket.
“Do I run like a 4.5-4.6? No. But I’m not slow,” he said. “I’m probably not going to out-run a lot of linebackers in the Pac-12. In high school I can evade the rush and make plays, but don’t run for a lot of yards.”
His strengths, he said, are his anticipating and accuracy. “And I stay pretty even-keeled.”
He also said he won’t shy away from competition at UW. The Huskies have sophomore Jeff Lindquist and redshirt freshman Troy Williams as their only two quarterbacks in spring practices, with four-star recruit K.J. Carta-Samuels scheduled to join the mix this summer. Sophomore Cyler Miles remains suspended indefinitely.
“It sounds like it’s open right now with Keith Price leaving,” Browning said. “But anywhere you go, there’s going to be a lot of god quarterbacks that you’re going to have to compete against. I’m going to go there and compete my hardest, just like all the quarterbacks do, and hopefully I get the spot.”
Browning had been offered by UW previously under Steve Sarkisian and also by Petersen and Smith when they were coaching at Boise State. He had attended at camp at Boise State last year, too.
“For me, (UW) is the best fit,” he said. “Why wait any longer if I feel it’s the best fit?”
Browning is the third known commitment for UW’s Class of 2015, joining in-state recruits Myles Gaskin, a running back from O’Dea High, and offensive lineman Trey Adams of Wenatchee.
Also, here are more Browning highlights.