At 6-foot-4 and 227 pounds, Jacob Sirmon already has the build of college quarterback.
The Bothell High School senior and Washington recruit has the arm strength and other talents needed to be considered an Under Armour All-American. Recruiting websites like Rivals think highly of him too. A four-star prospect, he’s the No. 7 pro-style passer in the nation.
Still, something was missing from his game. He wanted to take the next step in his development by becoming a better leader.
“I’ve had a lot of time to where I can learn from my past decisions and mistakes and just overall growth,” Sirmon told The News Tribune. “Going into this year, there wasn’t any new ‘first time’s’ for me. So I looked back, learned and grew from what I accomplished in the past.”
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In his final season, Sirmon made the effort to become a stronger presence within his team. It led to Bothell going 8-3 and ending the season last week with a Round of 16 loss to Skyline.
Sirmon has two more months left before he and several members Washington’s 2018 class officially join the program on National Signing Day.
He was actually the first member of the class to commit to the Huskies. Sirmon committed December 2015 and was soon followed by his cousin, Jackson, who is also still pledged to UW.
Jackson Sirmon, a three-star prospect, is a linebacker at Brentwood Academy, which is a powerhouse in Tennessee.
Football is part of the Sirmon family legacy and its become an obligatory chapter for anyone who tells their story.
“Every single male relative on my mom and dad’s side of the family have played college football,” Sirmon said. “So my dad played at Montana, my dad’s younger brother played at the University of Oregon. My dad’s two older brothers, one played at Idaho. The other played at Oregon State.
“My mom’s two brothers. One played at Montana and the other one played at Kansas. My dad’s dad played at the University of Washington and my mom’s dad played at Georgia Tech. Football is in the blood.”
Growing up around football allowed Sirmon the chance to learn the different facets of the game at an early age.
It also gave him a chance to see another side.
His uncle, Peter, was an assistant at UW for two seasons under Steve Sarkisian. Both Jacob and Jackson grew up going to Huskies games and knew as middle school students, they wanted to end up playing for UW.
“We’ll be hanging out in the new Husky Stadium when we’re in seventh and eighth grade,” Sirmon recalled. “We’re talking to ourselves and say, ‘we should play here sometime together.”
Both Sirmon and his cousin were offered by UW, among other schools, when they were freshmen.
“From an early age, I felt a lot of pressure to live up to certain expectations and getting offers early and committing early,” Sirmon said. “I wouldn’t change it if I had to but kinda going through that and feeling the hype and expectations, it can be a lot of pressure for a young man and stuff I wasn’t used to going through.
“Now, I can take those experiences and grow from them.”
Bothell coach Tom Bainter is in his 18th season. He’s been with Sirmon since he was a freshman.
He said one of the problems Sirmon faced when he was younger was worrying about what’s next.
“I think Coach (Chris) Petersen helped him with that,” Bainter said. “Coach Petersen had to talk with him about, ‘Man, I don’t care what your stats are, you’re coming to The U. The only stat I care about is how many wins your team gets.’
“I think that helped Jake to relieve the pressure of, ‘I gotta have these great stats I gotta throw for a lot of yards, a lot of touchdowns and no interceptions.’ It helped him just to play football.”
Bainter said Sirmon has always been a “smart kid” who has made the effort to evolve every season.
As a freshman, he already had the arm strength to get away with quite a bit. Bainter said Sirmon threw with an open stance which was something they corrected over time.
He also had to develop strong footwork. Bainter said Sirmon now has a good feel for the pocket and has the ability to extend plays.
“Like all quarterbacks you get, there’s something that clicks between their junior and senior year,” Bainter said. “You just see that and we’ve seen that maturation and I would tell you he is developing into a a good leader.
“He is developing into a great teammate and all those things are fun to watch him progress. He’s doing a great job.”
Ryan S. Clark: @ryan_s_clark