By Christian Caple The News Tribune
SEATTLE — Chris Petersen admits that even if one of Washington’s quarterbacks has separated himself during spring practices, he probably wouldn’t say anything about it publicly.
But UW’s head coach says it’s far too early to think about whether Jeff Lindquist or Troy Williams might start under center when the Huskies begin the season Aug. 30 at Hawaii.
“I don’t think it’s even really time for us to sit down and say, ‘hey this is the guy,’” Petersen said after Saturday’s practice. “We just need to keep competing and letting everybody get better.”
The division of quarterback repetitions during practices has supported that statement.
Lindquist and Williams receive equal reps, with each player working with different combinations of the No. 1 and No. 2 offensive units.
There’s also still the possibility of suspended quarterback Cyler Miles returning to the team, though if Petersen has a timeline for his return, he hasn’t said so publicly. Miles was being investigated in connection with the same Feb. 2 altercation that resulted in misdemeanor charges being filed against wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow, though the King County Prosecutor’s Office declined to file charges against Miles.
Petersen said last week that Miles won’t necessarily miss the entire spring, but just three practices remain.
Washington will at least receive a boost to its quarterback numbers in the fall, when incoming freshman K.J. Carta-Samuels (San Jose, Calif.) joins the team. Until then — or until Miles is allowed to practice again — it will likely just be Lindquist and Williams taking all of the snaps.
UW’s lack of bodies at that position has at least given Lindquist and Williams plenty of chances to try to hone their timing in a new offense.
“I think the schemes, they understand it, and now it’s just a process of making decisions faster,” Petersen said. “I think there’s a lot — ‘hey, that’s a good decision, the ball needs to come out quicker. You need to see that and make that decision quicker.’ So I think there’s been a lot of progress on those two guys kind of understanding what we’re doing.”
What most folks know about running back Deontae Cooper is that he missed his first three full college seasons due to three different ACL injuries and subsequent surgeries.
But what folks might not know is that the NCAA has already issued Cooper a rare waiver granting him seven years of college eligibility — or four full seasons of competition — meaning he’ll be able to play for UW through 2016, if he so chooses.
Cooper, a fifth-year senior who finally saw the field in 2013 when he rushed 43 times for 270 yards and three touchdowns, doesn’t necessarily think that far into the future.
“We’ll see. I hate to plan, because no one planned to have three ACL tears,” Cooper said. “So I’m just going to take it one day at a time and go from there.”
Cooper said he thought about pursuing a nursing degree, but instead decided to stick with American Ethnic Studies with an emphasis in Communication, with the hope of perhaps pursuing a Master’s in sports administration.
“We’ll see how that goes,” he said.
‘A lot of teaching’
Asked Saturday whether the offense or defense is progressing faster, Petersen hedged his response.
“I think both sides are making strides,” he said. “There’s a lot of teaching. We’ll get to playing football a little bit more in the fall — a lot more in the fall, but I’m talking about fall camp. A lot of fundamentals being taught (in spring), a lot of schemes being taught. I know everybody would like to just go out here and throw a ball out here and scrimmage the whole time, but we just don’t feel that’s best for our development right now.”