SEATTLE — In their final spring audition for the starting quarterback job at the University of Washington, Keith Price and Nick Montana looked like they might have everything on the line today.
As it turns out, the Huskies’ quarterback controversy might already be settled.
UW coach St
eve Sarkisian said after a Friday afternoon practice that he has essentially made his decision on which quarterback will replace Jake Locker as the starter next fall. He just hasn’t made it public.
“I think I know what I want to do,” Sarkisian said early Friday evening. “I’m just kind of letting it resonate with myself and see what it feels like.”
An announcement could come as soon as this afternoon, after Price and Montana make their final appearance of the month at the annual spring game.
Sarkisian, who has said all along that he’ll make a decision “when it feels right,” said Friday that he has been leaning toward one candidate for about a week now. All signs point toward Price being the man, but Sarkisian wasn’t naming any names Friday.
He did say that there were advantages to sending the players into the offseason knowing who their quarterback would be.
“I’ve kind of gone back and forth,” Sarkisian said about naming the starter before August’s fall camp “There might be something to that, to be able to go into summer with a guy that can kind of lead the offseason throwing and things of that nature. I’m going to kind of sleep on it and see how it feels (after today’s spring game).”
Price has experience and age on his side, having played in eight games last season. He started the Oregon game as a redshirt freshman last fall. Montana redshirted last season and has yet to appear in a game.
Teammates said that whoever the starter is, the Huskies will be in good hands.
“It doesn’t matter who the quarterback is,” running back Chris Polk said earlier this week. “I trust them, and I know we’ll be in a great situation and it’ll be a great fit for us.”
After Friday’s practice, receiver Jermaine Kearse said: “I feel pretty good about both of them. Both of them are great quarterbacks. They both throw the ball pretty good, and I feel like as time goes on, they’ll both keep getting better.”
Sarkisian said he hopes both quarterbacks will continue to push each other, even if he ends up naming a starter heading into the fall.
“Either way we do it, the competition’s going to rage on,” he said Friday. “The guys are going to battle throughout fall camp. Whoever I name, the other guy has got to continually push the other guy.”
Sarkisian added that the offense will have a different look than it did when Locker was running the show, with more of a pro-style set that includes more options in the passing game and a physical running attack.
So even though Locker might be playing in the NFL next fall, Sarkisian is confident in his quarterback play moving forward.
“I feel good about now that guys are starting to step up and emerge as leaders that maybe weren’t before,” he said. “I see who we are becoming, and where we are headed, which is also encouraging for me.”
Middle linebacker Cort Dennison (concussion) returned to practice Friday. Also back on the practice field was offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto, who missed a practice earlier in the week because of a personal issue. … Running back Chris Polk had an academic-related conflict and wasn’t able to attend Friday’s practice. But he should participate in today’s spring game, Sarkisian said. … The Huskies have been using helmet cameras at this camp and are mulling over whether to use them as a practice aid in the future. Several players could wear the cameras during today’s spring game.