University of Washington

Jake Haener leaves UW after losing starting quarterback job

On Thursday, reports began circulating that Jacob Eason had been named Washington’s starting quarterback.

On Friday, head coach Chris Petersen confirmed the news.

By Saturday, backup quarterback Jake Haener was leaving the program.

Haener, a redshirt sophomore, was competing to take over as UW’s starter this season. But just more than 24 hours after Petersen announced that Eason had won the battle, the university released a statement saying Haener had left the program. Petersen said on Friday that Haener, who served as Jake Brownings backup last season, would see playing time in the home opener against Eastern Washington.

“Obviously two really good quarterbacks, tight competition,” Petersen said then. “You take it as long as you can. You got to make a decision and roll with it. Jake Haener will play in our first game. He should, he deserves it and he will.”

That won’t be the case anymore.

Haener played in four games last season, completing 9-of-13 passes for 107 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He completed all seven passes for 110 yards and a touchdown in his debut against North Dakota. Haener also played two series in the 12-10 loss to Cal, completing 1-of-4 passes and throwing a pick six. A three-star prospect coming out of high school, Haener was considered the No. 27 pro-style quarterback in the country by 247Sports.

With Haener leaving the team effective immediately, the Huskies have just three quarterbacks on their roster: Eason, redshirt freshman Jacob Sirmon and freshman Dylan Morris. Sirmon will likely move up into the backup role with Morris taking over on third-string. Petersen praised all of the quarterbacks on Friday.

“You want to talk about competition raising the level of play in a room, it was all those guys,” Petersen said. “Jacob Sirmon did a tremendous job. He’s right there. And Dylan Morris to be a freshman to go out there and operate, which most freshmen can’t do with the reps that he got. And so it was awesome.”

Haener is the second quarterback UW lost this offseason. Redshirt freshman Colson Yankoff entered the transfer portal in May and landed at UCLA. Simon also briefly put his name in the transfer portal but removed it after reportedly sitting down for a conversation with Petersen and offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan.

The Huskies are bringing in four-star quarterback Ethan Garbers in the Class of 2020. Five star Kennedy Catholic quarterback Sam Huard, considered by 247Sports to be the No. 11 player in the country, is already committed for 2021.