Spring Breakout Players: No. 1

Dawgman.com has been counting down the top breakout players to watch this spring at UW, and with Spring Football officially starting Monday, we're down to our No. 1 choice. Quarterback is the ultimate glamour position, and ever since redshirt frosh Cyler Miles stepped on campus he has turned heads. We think he has the chance to be the biggest breakout player this spring for a number of reasons.

Background: Miles was as big a winner the Huskies have ever signed at quarterback during his prep career at Mullen High School in Denver. Twice named first-team All-Colorado (all-state, all levels) by the Denver Post, Miles was also named the top recruit in the state of Colorado by the Post. He helped the Mustangs to 28-straight wins (part of an eventual 34-game winning streak) and two 5A state titles his sophomore and junior seasons as their starting quarterback. Miles was also named co-MVP of the U.S. Army All-America Bowl in January of 2012 after completing 7-of-8 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for one touchdown. The touchdown pass was a 79-yard connection on third-and-38. Miles was rated the No. 13 quarterback recruit and the No. 224 overall prospect in the nation by Scout.com, which also listed him No. 2 in the state of Colorado his senior season.

Why Miles?: Simply put, he has excelled ever since UW's first fall practice nine months ago. In the battle between him and fellow redshirt frosh Jeff Lindquist for a spot in the depth last year, it was Miles that won that battle. At nearly 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, Miles has the physical abilities you want in a dual-threat quarterback, the savvy to make the best decision on every play and the athleticism and poise to pull it off. If it hadn't been for the fact that he was redshirting in 2012, he would have had every opportunity to play; consider that damning with faint praise if you must, but in my opinion the coaches would have played Miles over Derrick Brown if Keith Price had suffered a catastrophic injury in the first or second game of last year's campaign. Only the idea of significant playing time as a starter would have been enough to pull Miles' redshirt off. Fortunately that scenario never came to pass, allowing Miles to watch and learn. With Marques Tuiasosopo coaching the quarterbacks and back on campus for the first time since 2001, Miles has an excellent opportunity to impress his new boss with his multi-dimensional play. According to Tuiasosopo, Miles has already impressed with his work ethic (a shared trait with Lindquist). The biggest thing Miles has going for him over the man from Mercer Island is two-fold; the experience gained from working under Price in practice as well as his abilities throwing the ball and making the correct reads quickly and accurately.

The Competition: For the first time since the 1990's, Washington has five scholarship quarterbacks on hand at once. Honestly I wasn't sure that was ever going to happen again, but it has - and that means there will be plenty of battles going on for the spot behind Price during spring. And while it's cliche to say the backup is just one play away from being a starter, that thought takes on extra significance given Price's fragile legs. While we believe Miles will be the one to emerge as the clear No. 2 choice to be Price's lieutenant, it won't be a cut-and-dried decision for Steve Sarkisian. With the possibility of Price going down last year, UW toyed with the idea of having Lindquist in the same role Tuiasosopo played for the Huskies in 1997; run, run and run some more. The Huskies could have been one play away from having both freshmen available. Remember, Tuiasosopo became Washington's first true freshman ever to start a game that year - so it's not like it couldn't have happened. And don't forget, Derrick Brown did see live game action in 2012 and cannot be discounted in the backup battle - although it's clear players like Miles and Lindquist are seen as the current 'flavors of the month', and for good reason. Having four talented quarterbacks ahead of him, true frosh Troy Williams will have the benefit of sitting back and soaking in all he can from the players in front - but that doesn't mean he won't compete his butt off. There's no reason Williams can't make the same kind of impression this spring that Miles did last fall.

Cyler Miles Scout.com Profile

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