SEATTLE – There are two certainties surrounding the quarterback position for the Washington Huskies. The first is that Keith Price is the starter. The second is that if Price gets hurt, the Huskies will likely be in trouble.
Price’s backup, whomever that may be, has not yet taken a snap at the collegiate level.
Since Nick Montana transferred, the Huskies are left with redshirt freshman Derrick Brown, true freshmen Cyler Miles and Jeff Lindquist and walk-ons Thomas Vincent and Erik Wilson.
The competition started this fall between Brown, Miles and Lindquist. It appears Lindquist has fallen from the race. The touted Mercer Island standout has been plagued by moments of hesitation that have led to wobbly passes and poor decisions.
The competition between Brown and Miles is going strong. When Brown has struggled, Miles’ athleticism has stood out. When Miles has made freshman mistakes, Brown’s experience has shown through.
“It’s a competition, but we all help each other,” Brown said. “We all push each other. We are all trying to work as hard as possible so we can get on the field one day.”
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian isn’t letting on who’s winning, and he might not announce who it is even when he decides.
“I don’t know if I’m going to make one for you guys,” Sarkisian said. “I kind of don’t have to, not to be a jerk about it, part of that is for our team and game planning, and strategy wise, but I thought Derrick is improving like the other two kids as well.”
Brown looks nothing like the 18-year-old that struggled last season.
“I’m a lot more confident now,” he said. “Last year, I was the new guy and I was pretty timid.”
He hasn’t always got the offense to the line of scrimmage at the high-tempo pace that Sarkisian wants. But his knowledge is evident.
“You have to go in there and make the huddle yours,” he said. “I’m way more comfortable. Last year, I was just running plays for myself. This year I know the plays and I can tell people where to go.”
On Monday, Brown hit Cody Bruns on a 70-plus yard touchdown. Brown has the arm strength, so sometimes it’s the touch and accuracy that are a bit off.
“Derrick, I think, has progressively gotten better and better and better,” Sarkisian said. “He’s throwing the ball with more conviction. It’s the belief in what he’s seeing and what he’s reading is there and he’s trusting it.”
Miles was heralded as a bigger version of Price when he came to UW from Denver. At 6-foot-4, 223 pounds, he’s a freakish athlete with plenty of arm strength.
He has been confused by coverages and play-checks at the line and quick to leave the pocket at the hint of pressure. But his ability to improvise, avoid pressure and throw on the run are excellent.
He’s also shown accuracy. In the most recent scrimmage, Miles was 4-for-6 passing for 58 yards.
Either Brown or Miles will likely be the backup. The snaps in practice in the coming weeks will tell who it is, even if Sarkisian doesn’t.
The Huskies will announce today that they will play the University of Montana at Husky Stadium during the 2017 season, according to a source. … Offensive linemen Erik Kohler (knee) was a full go at practice. The junior played center with the first-team offense, giving senior Drew Schaefer a few series off. Sarkisian said he wasn’t sure where Kohler will fit back into the mix, but admitted that he will need more than five linemen to play in the first few games. Kohler has started games at right guard and right tackle in his career. … Linebacker Thomas Tutogi (knee) also was a full go at practice, getting work in with the second-team. … Linebacker Travis Feeney (concussion) practiced with the No. 1 defense in a yellow no-contact jersey. Feeney stepped back in and replaced Evan Zeger, who had been with the first team. … Sarkisian said defensive linemen Hau’oli Jamora and running back Deontae Cooper will both have knee surgeries in the coming firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @RyanDivish