With spring football just around the corner, here's a position-by-position look at the roster and what to expect over the next month

It's that time of year where we take a look at each position group as the Huskies prepare to take the field for spring practice. Today we focus on the quarterbacks, a position in much better shape than it was this time last year...

As spring ball unfolded last season, Husky fans had no idea who would be leading the charge heading into the season. 

Cyler Miles had left the program due to a hip injury that had never fully healed and eventually he would have to take a medical retirement due to the issue.

Jeff Lindquist was the only returning player with any experience, but word was that K.J. Carta-Samuels had had a great offseason and was poised to take the reins of the offense. However, he would need to fight off record-setting true freshman Jake Browning who enrolled early to get a jump start on his college football career.

We all know the rest of the story.

The Huskies ended up signing a JUCO quarterback during the summer -- Tony Rodriguez -- and the hope was they could keep Browning's redshirt on.

The only problem was that no one told Browning about the plan and he went on the become only the second freshman to ever start a game for the Huskies at the quarterback position, hitting on over 63% of his passes for 2,955 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while starting 12 of Washington's 13 games.

Carta-Samuels got the one start, versus Stanford, that Browning missed and he took some lumps, but the coaches still think he has a future in the program.

As we head into spring, the pieces have shifted a bit.

Lindquist has moved over to fill in an H-Back role, but he will also get some reps with the quarterbacks while Browning, Carta-Samuels and Rodriguez will all be back and the new face is true freshman Daniel Bridge-Gadd, a young man who put up big numbers as a senior, leading his team to a 13-1 record while throwing for 4,268 yards, 47 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

There's no question who the start is, barring an injury, however, how this positions shakes out over the spring and summer will be something to keep an eye on.


Position Group (by class)

Jeff Lindquist (6-3, 245, RSr.)

Anthony Berg (6-2, 214, Sr.)*

Tony Rodriguez (6-3, 185, RJr.)

K.J. Carta-Samuels (6-2, 220, RSo.)

Jake Browning (6-2, 206, So.)

Daniel Bridge-Gadd (6-3, 191, Fr.)

* = walk-on



Like we said, barring an injury, Browning is the starter and he should only get better. 

When he arrived at Washington, Browning still had a pretty slight frame and he was still getting used to the speed of the game. 

Now, with a year under his belt, word is that the sophomore has really taken over the leadership of the team and the expectation is he will improve in every area heading into the fall.

A big focus for Browning will be his long passes. As a freshman, Browning missed on multiple long passes that could have changed the complexion of a couple of games. Some of it was lack of cohesion with his receivers, some was seeing things late and some of it just was bad luck. 

Expect a big focus to be on the deep ball by both Browning and the coaches and for that to improve this fall.

At this point, Lindquist is what he is. He's a solid locker room guy, he's smart and he's a team player. What he isn't is a starting caliber quarterback. With that knowledge, the coaches have made different moves to get him into games, inserting him as the personal protector on the punt team while giving him some reps as a "Wildcat QB" in certain game situations. 

This offseason, Lindquist has been doing a lot with the tight ends and the expectation is that he will be getting some H-Back reps during the spring and fall.

Carta-Samuels is another strong locker room guy who is the incumbent as Browning's backup. 

The coaches love his work-ethic and he seems destined to finish his career with Washington.

Rodriguez is a bit of a wildcard. No one knows what to expect from him. He's definitely a valuable person "in the room" as the coaches like to say and he's also an extra arm for camp, but at this point, that's about all we know about him.


Newest Face

Bridge-Gadd is a player who came to light later in the recruiting process. 

He wasn't one of the big names Washington was after, but you can't overlook his productivity at the prep level.

Bridge-Gadd is very athletic -- he rushed for over 600 yards and 17 touchdowns -- and he's been lauded for his Football I.Q. He showed up early to get a jump-start on his college career and he'll get some reps from the coaches during the spring to see what he can do.


Health Factor (knock on wood)

We've mentioned it a couple of times, but it's worth repeating -- as long as Browning stays healthy, the Huskies should be in great shape.

Like most college football teams in the nation, the Huskies have bodies, but little in the way of proven depth, so as long as their proven starter stays upright and healthy, the Washington offense should be in good shape, but if he goes down for any length of time, it definitely would hurt their chances to win the Pac 12 North.


What Does Spring Mean For This Group?

For Browning, the spring is all about continuing to work on his timing with his receivers and hone his deep passes. The more accurate he is with the latter, the bigger threat the Husky passing game will be this fall and that will open up a lot more things in the running game as well as the short and intermediate passing game.

For Carta-Samuels and Rodriguez it's a chance to battle it out for the backup job behind Browing. 

Rodriguez didn't get many reps during fall camp as most of the reps went to Browning and Carta-Samuels as they battled it out for the starting job, so this spring will be his first chance to really show the coaches what he can do.

Carta-Samuels just needs to progress in his reads and continue to make plays. As noted earlier, the coaches like his work-ethic and he's a good locker room guy, so as long as he keeps progressing as a quarterback he should have the chance to keep his job as the primary backup.

For Bridge-Gadd, he'll get a few reps here and there during the practices, but the spring will be all about learning the playbook and getting used to the college game.



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