Wash­ing­ton QB Ea­son de­clares for NFL draft

Orlando Sentinel - - SCOREBOARD -

Wash­ing­ton quar­ter­back Ja­cob Ea­son an­nounced Thurs­day he will skip his fi­nal year of col­lege and en­ter the NFL draft.

Ea­son started 13 games for Wash­ing­ton this sea­son af­ter be­gin­ning his col­lege ca­reer at Ge­or­gia and trans­fer­ring fol­low­ing his sopho­more sea­son. He threw for 3,132 yards and 23 touch­downs for the Huskies in a sea­son where at times he looked like a sure first-round pick and at other times it ap­peared that an­other sea­son of col­lege would help his draft sta­tus.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper con­sid­ers Ea­son a top-five prospect at the quar­ter­back po­si­tion.

Ea­son’s de­ci­sion caps weeks of de­bate about his fu­ture. He chose to play in Wash­ing­ton’s bowl game vic­tory over Boise State rather than fol­low the path of NFL-bound team­mates Hunter Bryant and Trey Adams, who skipped the game.

Wash­ing­ton’s coach­ing change from Chris Petersen to Jimmy Lake and the sub­se­quent de­ci­sion to fire of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Bush Ham­dan added an­other layer to Ea­son’s de­ci­sion.

Ul­ti­mately, the draw of the NFL won out.

“The op­por­tu­nity to play quar­ter­back in the NFL has been a life­long dream and my heart is set on the chal­lenge ahead,“Ea­son wrote in a so­cial me­dia post an­nounc­ing his de­ci­sion.

■ J’Mar Smith threw a TD pass and had a late scor­ing run to help Louisiana Tech beat Mi­ami 14-0 in Shreve­port, La., record­ing the only shutout in the In­de­pen­dence Bowl’s 44-game his­tory. Louisiana Tech (10-3) hit dou­ble-digit vic­to­ries for the first time since 1984 and ran its post­sea­son win­ning streak to six. Mi­ami (6-7) com­pleted its sec­ond los­ing sea­son in 12 years. Smith con­nected with Is­rael Tucker on a 26-yard TD strike on a screen pass in the sec­ond quar­ter, cap­ping a 13-play, 91-yard drive. Smith added an 8-yard scor­ing run with 1:15 left. Bull­dogs RB Justin Hen­der­son was se­lected the most out­stand­ing player of the game af­ter rush­ing for 95 yards on 22 car­ries. Smith com­pleted 13 of 28 passes for 163 yards with one in­ter­cep­tion. The teams set the In­de­pen­dence Bowl record for punts at 18, with both ty­ing the sin­gle-team record of nine . ... Mis­sis­sippi State fresh­man QB Gar­rett Shrader suf­fered an eye injury dur­ing an al­ter­ca­tion with a Bull­dogs de­fen­sive player dur­ing prac­tice and will miss the team’s Mu­sic City Bowl matchup Mon­day against Louisville. Grad­u­ate trans­fer Tommy Stevens will start in Shrader’s place. Stevens started eight of the Bull­dogs’ 12 reg­u­lar-sea­son games and threw a team-high nine TD passes while also rush­ing for 310 yards.

Soc­cer: AC Milan will sign Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic on a free trans­fer, Sky Sport Italia re­ported. The 38-year-old for­ward from Swe­den spent the last two sea­son with the LA Gal­axy of MLS. Ibrahi­movic spent two sea­sons with Milan from 2010-12, win­ning a Serie A ti­tle, be­fore spend­ing four sea­sons with Paris Saint-Ger­man and a sea­son with Manch­ester United. He has 535 ca­reer goals across all lev­els of com­pe­ti­tion.

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