On Sunday, former Oregon State Beavers quarterback Jake Luton will make his NFL debut in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars selected the 6’6”, 240-pound quarterback with the 189th pick (sixth round) by Jacksonville in the 2020 NFL Draft. With starter Gardner Minshew II out with multiple fractures and a strained ligament in his thumb, Luton beat out eight-year veteran Mike Glennon for the start this Sunday vs. the Houston Texans.
“It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of since I was a little kid,” said Luton on Wednesday. “Something I’ve always strived for. Battled through some things and I’ve had my journey just like everyone else has. It’s something I take pride in, the journey I’ve had and the road it took to get here.
The journey to the NFL has been a long, bumpy road for Luton.
Coming out of Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, Luton signed and began his collegiate career with the Idaho Vandals. He utilized his redshirt as a true freshman in 2014 and then played in eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2015.
Luton then transferred and played one season at Ventura Community College where he was named a Junior College All-American and a consensus three-star JUCO quarterback. He then signed with the Oregon State Beavers and in his first year, was on a tear. Unfortunately, Luton suffered a gruesome head injury at Washington State early in his first season with the Beavers.
He then only started five games his redshirt senior year (2018) at Oregon State but was granted an additional year of eligibility by the NCAA. So in 2019, Luton took the field in his sixth season as a college quarterback and it was definitely special. He concluded his career ranked fifth at Oregon State with 42 career TD passes and seventh with 5,227 passing yards.
His will and determination paired with his size and arm are just a few of the reasons why the Jaguars couldn’t pass him over in the draft.
Despite this being his first career NFL start, Jags head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden are confident in the rookie.
“He’s a big guy, he can move, he can see well, and he has a good arm,” said Marrone. “I feel good about putting him in there. I feel good about his potential. I just don’t know how he’s going to be in the game.
“Unfortunately it’s not going to be easy for a rookie first game. He had to take a lot of reps with the first team. In fact, I don’t think he’s called one of your plays in the huddle since training camp. It will not be easy for him.”
The Jaguars are set to host the Houston Texans (1-6) on Sunday.
The Texans defense is near the bottom of the league in most defensive statistical categories allowing 417.6 yards per game, 251.7 passing yards and 165.9 on the ground, and giving up 31.0 points to opposing teams. Luton and the Jags offensive line will also have to deal with Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham who is fifth in the league in tackles (71) this season.
Kickoff time for the Jaguars vs. Texans is scheduled for 10 AM (PT) in Jacksonville, Florida.