Quarterback Jake Browning from Folsom High set to give fans a show

Quarterback Jake Browning from Folsom High set to give fans a show
Folsom High School quarterback Jake Browning prepares to pass earlier this season. (Brian Baer / Sacramento Bee)

Southern California sports fans are in for a treat this coming weekend, because the record-setting teenage quarterback from Folsom High, Jake Browning, is coming to town.

He has passed for a national record 223 touchdowns in his three-year prep career. He has a state-record 85 touchdown passes this season for the 15-0 Bulldogs, who play Oceanside (14-0) on Friday night in the 8 o'clock CIF state championship Division I bowl game at StubHub Center.

While the big game of the weekend is Saturday's Open Division bowl game between Concord De La Salle (13-0) and Corona Centennial (12-2), the chance to watch the 6-foot-2 Browning in action should prove memorable. He's set to complete his finals this month and enroll at Washington on Jan. 3.

"One of the things Jake is incredible about is his anticipation and accuracy," co-Coach Kris Richardson said. "You can have the strongest arm in the world, but if you're not accurate, you won't be successful. His vision is off the charts."


Since passing for 10 touchdowns in his first varsity game as a sophomore, Browning hasn't stopped creating excitement. Under the tutelage of co-Coach Troy Taylor, a former California quarterback, Browning has been picking apart virtually every defense he has faced.

"It's definitely a unique offense," Browning said. "To execute it, I've been surrounded with a good line and good receivers."

In 2012 and 2013, Folsom won its first 14 games, only to be stopped by a giant roadblock named De La Salle. The Bulldogs lost in regional finals to De La Salle, 49-15 and 45-17. This season, regional games were abandoned in the Open Division, clearing the way for Folsom to advance out of Division I after Friday's 52-17 win over Sacramento Grant in a Northern California regional final.

"To finally play in a state championship game is going to be awesome," Browning said.

One of Browning's strengths is his focus. He has been playing quarterback since taking lessons from Taylor as a fifth-grader. He has lived in Folsom, a city of more than 70,000 in Sacramento County, since he was 5. For all the attention he receives because of his records and statistics, he insists it's not why he plays the game.

"I don't really read my news clippings or comment on it," he said. "I don't see the point. It puts unnecessary pressure on yourself. If I make a bad play, my coaches will let me know. The opinions I care about are my coaches, parents and friends. Important is surrounding yourself with the right people who aren't going to get too high or too low on you."

This will be the final week Richardson will get to watch film with Browning before he leaves for Washington and Pac-12 football.

"I'm going to miss him because he's my lunch buddy," Richardson said. "He might as well as have his own key to the office. He's a coach on the field. He fits in on every game plan."

This is a Hollywood-like moment for Browning. Lots of sports fans will get to see him perform for the first time on a big stage. He'll be sharing it with teammates he's been playing with since he was 8. But he won't care how many will be watching.

"If there was no one at the game, I would still want to play," he said. "It's not the media attention I like; it's the actual playing."

Twitter: @LATSondheimer