Fall Preview: Quarterbacks

Washington kicks off camp on August 9th, so we here at Dawgman.com thought it would be a good time to preview each position, breaking down each player and how they fit into things. In the first installment, we take a look at the quarterbacks, a position led by a young man many are touting as the best signal-caller in the nation...

Players: Jake Locker (Sr.); Keith Price (RS Fr.); Nick Montana (Fr.); Mike King (Fr.)#

# = walk-on

Washington is blessed to have one of the top quarterbacks in the nation heading their offensive attack. However, much of the accolades that Locker has received come from his talent as well as his projected "upside" by NFL scouts instead of his overall production and win-loss record, to this point at least.

This year he has a chance to show those who question his quarterbacking skills what he can do as he heads into the second year in head coach Steve Sarkisian's system.

Locker's abilities and talent have never been questioned by even his worst critics, but what has been fodder for blogs and message boards across the Pac 10 and the nation are his accuracy and winning percentage and, until last year, those definitely had merit.

However, under the tutelage of Sarkisian and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, there is no reason not to have huge expectations about what the fifth-year senior can accomplish this fall.

Until last year, Locker's completion percentage was sitting at 48.7% and he was considered by many to be a better runner than passer, rushing for 1,166 yards and 26 touchdowns during his first two season at the helm of the Husky attack.

Last year, some remarked he seemed tentative to tuck the ball and use the one skill no one has ever questioned, instead, opting to hang in the pocket and wait for a receiver to break open down the field.

Still, Locker did manage to rush for over 330 yards and seven touchdowns, including the longest run of the season – a 56-yard beauty against Arizona – and it's an area that Sarkisian and Locker both have said will be utilized more this fall.

One reason why Sarkisian and Nussmeier aren't too keen on using Locker as a runner as much as the previous staff did is because of the lack of experience behind him.

Price redshirted last fall and has added some size and strength to his 6'2", 205 pound frame. He appears to be more in command of the offense, but has a long way to go in order to be someone the coaches can count on to come in and win games.

He's improved his throwing motion and release-point, but he still has a lot of work to do in reading defenses and making good decisions.

If you asked those close to the program, most would tell you they hope that Montana can redshirt this fall and it appears as if that is the way things will go should Locker remain healthy.

However, if the fifth-year senior were to go down for any significant amount of time, then Montana and Price would likely share duties under center as the coaches work to figure out who can get it done in the crunch.

Montana enrolled early and has looked good for a freshman, but he's very lean and needs to put on at least 10 to 15 pounds of muscle in order to take the pounding of an entire season of college football.

What he has in spades is an outstanding Football I.Q. and the intangibles coaches love in a quarterback.

Montana is a natural leader, very accurate for a young passer and he's smart. Now, can he lead a Pac 10 offense? That's something they don't want to find out until 2011 at the earlies.

Former Aberdeen QB Mike King plans to walk-on this fall and it should be interesting to see what happens with him. He's got a great frame and he's a good athlete. He played mainly in the spread while in high school, so he's going to have to learn the five and seven-step pass-drops that are so prevalent in the west coast scheme.

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