Husky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks

USA TODAY Sports

Keith Price may be fighting for his starting job when spring practice gets underway.

2012 review

2012 was a very rough year for Keith Price. Despite coming in as the guy that many thought was the best quarterback in the Pac-12 after Matt Barkley, Price struggled from the get go and regularly turned over the ball, couldn't avoid pressure and rarely stepped up as a leader and made plays when the Huskies really needed him.

Price's numbers weren't terrible (2,726 yards with 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions with a 60 percent completion percentage and a couple of touchdowns on the ground), but they were far from what was expected after his historical production in 2011. Price was also dreadful against the top teams that the Huskies faces such as Oregon, Stanford and LSU and padded most of his stats against the weaker defenses that he faced.

The only other quarterback to see any action in 2012, was Derrick Brown in a tiny bit of mop up duty as Price took almost every snap of the season despite being banged up for pretty much the entire season for the second year in a row.

Coming and going

The Huskies don't lose any quarterbacks from their 2012 roster and added a 2013 signee and early enrollee in Troy Williams who will participate in spring practice. A four-star prospect out of Harbor City, California, Williams is a heralded signal caller and one of the crown jewels of the 2013 recruiting class that can make plays with his arm and legs who is simply a winner and sees the field very well.

Projected spring depth chart

1. Keith Price 6'1 202 RS-Sr.

2. Derrick Brown 6'2 245 RS-So.

3. Cyler Miles 6‘4 223 RS-Fr.

4. Jeff Lindquist 6‘3 234 RS-Fr.

5. Troy Williams 6‘2 190 Fr.

This is basically the anticipated depth chart going into Spring and barring something drastic, I don't think anything else will be officially announced until Fall camp.

Major Questions

How Healthy is Price?

Or better yet, will he ever have true mobility again? A lot has been speculated about the health of Price's knees and if he will ever have the mobility that he flashed as a redshirt freshman and at time as a sophomore. It really limits Sarkisian's offense if his quarterback just can't move much at all and it will make it harder for Price to hold onto his starting spot if he isn't at least a little bit more healthy and mobile than he was at the end of the 2012 season.

Are Miles and Lindquist ready?

Many fans are hoping that one of the big, highly-rated, athletic redshirt freshmen will be able to usurp Price much in the way that Brett Hundley did returning starter Kevin Prince down at UCLA last year. However, since neither has any game experience and access to practice is very limited, fans and journalists really have no idea if either of the two can even truly push a healthy Price at this point.

Where does Brown fit in?

When the conversation comes up about who could beat out Price for the starting spot, or at least who will start in 2014 after he graduates, Miles and Lindquist are pretty much the only names that come up. Even though Brown is the only quarterback other than Price who has any game action, he has pretty much already been declared as buried by many. It will be important for Brown to immediately keep pace with Miles and Lindquist this spring to keep himself from becoming an afterthought.

The Battle

Whether or not it is ever publicly declared as such, I think the starting quarterback position will be open for competition this Spring. Price was simply just too ineffective in 2012 for the staff to not at least take a look at what other guys might offer and with his health always in question, they will at least have to anoint someone as the clear number two guy who can step in if he goes down.

Miles, Lindquist and Brown all without a doubt offer more physically than Price at this point, but I have heard that in last year's practices, Price was simply the best quarterback of the bunch and ran the offense the best of any of the quarterbacks and it wasn't even close. Regardless of whether or not Price's position is actually challenged, hopefully the thought that it is in jeopardy will light a fire under the senior quarterback as he readies for his final season as a Husky.

Overview

This will without a doubt be the most-watched position by Husky fans this Spring. Fans, and assuredly the coaches want and need more out of the quarterback position than they got in 2012 and it will be very interesting to see if Price can step up his game or if one of the younger quarterbacks can establish himself and create a new excitement around the Husky offense that was so maligned in 2012.

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