To paraphrase an oft-spoken quote, with great talent comes great responsibility. And when Jake Browning stepped onto the campus of the University of Washington, there was almost too much responsibility placed on his shoulders.
Browning became the first true freshman to start a season opener for UW and in 13 starts, the young signal caller performed admirably. The numbers were strong for an early start, with almost 3,000 yards through the air and more touchdowns than interceptions; but even as Browning led the Huskies to a bowl game, there was a hint of something on the horizon as to what he could bring to the team.
The college football world didn’t have to wait long, as the very next year, Browning showed just why the coaching staff had put so much trust in him from the start. Now with a year of experience under his belt, Browning was able to display a mastery of the Huskies offense, continually finding the right targets from a variety of launch angles and able to almost seamlessly throw to every spot on the field.
His ability to take command of the offense brought the Huskies to the College Football Playoff, where they faced off against Alabama in the Peach Bowl. Though they ended up losing to the Tide, the semifinal appearance was the cherry on top for an incredible year where he threw for 43 touchdowns, just 9 interceptions, and contributed four more scores on the ground.
Even after undergoing shoulder surgery following that sophomore campaign, Browning has continued to be a consistent source of offense and leadership for UW. In 2017, Browning delivered one of the finest performances of his collegiate career, bouncing back from a heartbreaking loss to Stanford to throw for a season-high 354 yards and two touchdowns in a thrilling 33-30 victory over Utah.
His play ultimately led the Huskies to the Fiesta Bowl where they lost by a single score to Penn State. And in his final collegiate season, Browning righted the ship for the Huskies after an early loss to Auburn by leading them to the Rose Bowl, marking the first time in 18 years that the Huskies were playing in the “Grandaddy of them all.”
Browning leaves UW as one of the most decorated and statistically dominant quarterbacks in the program’s history, and with his understanding of offensive concepts, pocket presence, footwork, and delivery, there is no question he is ready to step into a pro offense at the next level.
– David Chough
NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Analyst