Washington quarterbacks Jaden Sheffey, center, Kevin Thomson, left, and Jacob Sirmon, right, pass in a group during NCAA college football practice Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Seattle. (Ted S. Warren/Associated Press)

Washington quarterbacks Jaden Sheffey, center, Kevin Thomson, left, and Jacob Sirmon, right, pass in a group during NCAA college football practice Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Seattle. (Ted S. Warren/Associated Press)

Lake stays mum on Washington’s starting QB ahead of opener

By Tim Booth | Associated Press

SEATTLE — This much is clear about Jimmy Lake’s debut as the head coach at Washington, he’s not going to share any information about who his starting quarterback will be ahead of Saturday’s opener at California.

“Great question. I guess we will find out about 7:34 p.m. Pacific time, right around there on Saturday night,” Lake said earlier this week.

No bigger question surrounds Lake’s first game in charge of the Huskies than who will be under center against the Golden Bears. After several weeks of practice and a few scrimmages, Lake is still keeping the decision under wraps as to which of his four options will take that first snap.

Favorite

The favorite from the start has appeared to be graduate transfer Kevin Thomson simply because he has the most experience. Thomson was the Big Sky Conference offensive player of the year last year at Sacramento State before deciding to transfer back home to finish his college career at Washington.

Thomson threw 450 passes and 27 touchdowns in 2019 alone. Washington’s other three QB options — Jacob Sirmon, Dylan Morris and Ethan Garbers — have combined to throw three passes in college, all of them by Sirmon last season.

Whoever the starter ends up being will be directing a new offense under first-year offensive coordinator John Donovan. Lake has also said the Huskies could use multiple QBs to start and all four were listed as potential starters on the official depth chart.

“If there’s a guy that can just take over the reins and be the guy, then he’ll be the guy,” Lake said. “But from a defensive standpoint, if there’s a guy back there that can just take control that’s difficult to defend. If there’s a two-headed monster back there, that’s difficult to defend. We’re going to do whatever is best for our team to make sure we get victories.”

Washington has been blessed with experience at the position for years. Jake Browning was a four-year starter at quarterback for the Huskies and Jacob Eason brought one year’s worth of experience starting in the SEC when he took over for Browning last season.

Lake said his decision to not announce the starter comes simply from a competitive standpoint. His predecessor, Chris Petersen, did the same ahead of Browning’s first game in 2015.

“I know our fans are excited. And believe me, we’re all excited. We can’t wait to go out and run out there on Saturday night and play really hard for you guys,” Lake said. “But what we’re never going to do here is release information that hurts us. And by us releasing that type of information only hurts us, it doesn’t help us.”

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