Fall Camp Preview: Quarterbacks

As we count down to the start of fall camp, which kicks off on August 5th, it's time to take a position-by-positon look at the Huskies. Today, we get things started with the quarterback position which, on paper at least, looks to be well-stocked with a fifth-year senior who enters his third season as a starter and several talented underclassmen who will wage a battle for the primary backup job...

The Players: SR (5th) Keith Price (6'1, 202); SO (3rd) Derrick Brown (6'2, 245); RS Fr. Cyler Miles (6'4, 223); RS Fr. Jeff Lindquist (6'3, 234); FR Troy Williams (6'2, 205)


The Depth: Washington returns Price who will be a three-year starter once he takes that first snap against Boise State on August 31st. The fifth-year senior looked great this spring, earning accolades from Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian for both his work-ethic (he has added some size) and his leadership skills. The expectation, or hope, depending on your perspective, is that he will wind up bouncing back from a sub-par 2012 season and take the Huskies to where they want to be - challenging for the Pac 12 Conference title and, dare to dream, a double-digit win season as well as a top 25 finish for the first time in over a decade.

Behind Price, the Huskies have done a good job of adding talented arms, but none have seen the field, so at this point, it's merely a projection and not really something to bank on.

Both Miles and Lindquist redshirted last fall and both had solid, if unspectacular, springs.

Miles is a big, athletic quarterback and he showed off both his accuracy and his running ability during the spring. He still struggled at times with making quick decisions and he needs to work on his arm-strength, but he enters fall camp with the lead to be primary backup.

Lindquist has a big arm as well as the size and athleticism to be a threat in the running game as well. As we've noted several times over the past year, the Mercer Island product's problems stem from a "paralysis by analysis", something that can be overcome with both reps and playing time.

Behind those two is Troy Williams who actually shined enough during the spring to possibly push Miles for the backup job even though he's only a true freshman. Williams probably has the strongest arm of the group of quarterbacks and he seems like a natural leader and a smooth enough passer to be a real commodity once he figures things out.

We can't forget to mention Brown, who is a big body, but at this point he appears not to be in the plans for the future at the position. Could a change of position or scenery be in his future? Only time will tell.


The Battle: Price pretty much has the starting gig wrapped up and that is a good thing considering his experience and skills are what give Washington the best chance at getting to where they want to be, so the real battle is for the primary backup job.

As noted, Miles appears to be leader heading into fall camp, but Lindquist and Williams will do their best to push him and to show the coaches they shouldn't be counted out of the equation as the team heads into next year looking for a new starter once Price leaves.

All three are athletic, but Williams appeared, at least in the spring, to be ahead of the other two as a passer (albeit in limited reps against the second and third team defense) while Lindquist and Miles are much more ready from a size and athleticism standpoint.

Miles' size and speed make him very intriguing and his passing was much better in the spring, although he appeared to have a bit of a hitch in his delivery that needed a bit of tweaking before he sees the field on a regular basis.


The Future: Washington doesn't appear likely to sign a quarterback in the 2014 class, so it is imperative that they hit on at least two of the underclassmen currently on the roster.

If Williams takes over in 2014, will Miles and Lindquist stick around for the remaining years of their college careers? That's a question you have to ask, although it's still too early to even think about that since we are at least a year away from that discussion becoming a reality.

Throwing out all of the possible drama that could happen down the road, Washington has recruited well at the position and looks to be strong under center over the next four or five years. With Sarkisian's rep for developing quarterbacks and an promising young coach in Marques Tuiasosopo handling the position, the Huskies look in great shape, now they need to go out and live up to the lofty expectations.


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