Back when he was a senior at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Jake Luton spent Sunday, February 2, 2014 doing the same thing almost everyone in the Pacific Northwest was doing: watching the Seahawks beat the Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Having recently wrapped up an impressive high school career as the quarterback of the Tomahawks, Luton got together with some friends to watch the game, then as the game became a blowout, they realized they needed to join the impromptu parties that were popping up on the streets of Seattle, so they got in their cars and drove south.
"I remember being with my buddies and coming down to Seattle and having a blast," Luton said. "Remembering the excitement, I hope we can do that again… We watched it up there (in Marysville). We were 17. We watched it at my buddy's house, the game was a blowout, so third quarter we were like, 'Let's go'. We came down to Seattle. We came down and experienced it. I just remember how awesome that was."
On Thursday, seven years after watching Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner win the Super Bowl, Luton took the field as a teammate of those two legendary players, having signed with the Seahawks earlier in the day. For Luton, a 2020 sixth-round pick out of Oregon State, joining the Seahawks is something special not just for him, but also his family, and especially his three younger brothers.
"It's a dream come true," Luton said before his first practice with the Seahawks. "Really excited to be here. I've got three little brothers who are so excited. They're fired up to have me here, and I'm really excited. I'm excited for the opportunity, the chance to come in and learn from some great coaches and some great players. It's been a great situation."
Luton arrives in Seattle as the team's third quarterback along with Wilson and Geno Smith, and while those two are veterans who have considerably more experience, Luton did get to start three games as a rookie with the Jaguars, valuable experience that helped him grow heading into Year 2.
"I think I'm really fortunate I got to play as a rookie," he said. "I got to get my feet wet. I had some success, took my lumps, I learned a lot. I think this preseason was really cool. I had the opportunity to show what I learned, get back out there, and get on the horse and play football. I hope the people see that. It felt good to me. I felt really comfortable, and the game felt easy. That's something that's really great about the situation I was in. I got to play and learn, now I can keep growing off of that."
Luton spent training camp as part of a quarterback group in Jacksonville that included No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence, former WSU standout Gardner Minshew and former 49ers backup C.J. Beathard, and the Jaguars eventually named Lawrence the starter, traded Minshew to the Eagles, then on Tuesday they waived Luton as part of their roster cuts. Luton cleared waivers meaning he was free to sign anywhere, and a return to Jacksonville as a member of the practice squad was a possibility, but then the Seahawks called offering him a chance to return home.
"It's been wild," Luton said of his past couple of days. "It's crazy how things work out. I got cut, went through the waiver wire, and then went through this weird process of where I was going to go. I'm just so thankful for the way it played out. Like I keep saying, I'm just so excited to be here. It's awesome."