JACKSONVILLE – Jake Luton understated the obvious.
"My college experience was a bit of a journey," the Jaguars' newest quarterback said.
And then some.
The Jaguars on Saturday selected the Oregon State senior in Round 6 of the 2020 NFL Draft, making him the No. 189 overall selection in the draft. For Luton, it was the latest step in a long football road.
"This means to the world to me," Luton said. "It's where I've always wanted to be since I was a little kid."
Luton (6-feet-6, 224 pounds), a redshirt senior who spent six years in college, began his career at Idaho before transferring first to Ventura Community College and finally to Oregon State.
"I think it's only made me a better player and a better person," Luton said. "I think I've dealt with a little adversity. I'm ready for anything that's going to be thrown at me. I'm just ready to compete and help the team any way I can."
He played his final three seasons at OSU, passing as a senior for 2,714 yards and 28 touchdowns with three interceptions. He is not considered particularly mobile, but Luton said such reports don't bother him.
"I don't read into that stuff too much," Luton said. "Every player brings his own skillset to the table. Mine is I can stay in the pocket and throw the ball all over the field. And I take care of the ball. The athleticism is never something I'll shine at, but I can really help the team in other ways.
"Taking care of the football and not turning it over is a huge one at the quarterback position."
There was more to Luton's college career than simply playing at multiple schools.
After transferring to Ventura and to OSU, he sustained a career-threatening thoracic spinal injury against Washington State as a redshirt junior. He was granted a sixth collegiate year that allowed him to play as a redshirt senior last season.
"This is a day I've dreamed of, but to me it's just another step in the journey," he said "I'm excited for what's next and diving into the playbook. I'm really enjoying it right now. I don't know if it's fully sunk in yet, but I'm really excited."
Luton's journey to the NFL is similar to that taken by the Jaguars' current starting quarterback, Gardner Minshew II. Minshew – a sixth round selection in 2019 -- began his career at Troy, then spent a year at Northwest Mississippi Community College before transferring to East Carolina and eventually finishing his college career at Washington State of the Pac-12.
"It doesn't bother me at all," he said of potential comparisons. "It's going to be really cool for me and him to be in that room and kind of share similar journeys. "We can push each other to be the best we can be. I'm excited to get to work with him and push each other."