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Originally published Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 11:31 AM

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No surprise: Quarterback Keith Price is on top of Washington depth chart

Sophomore Keith Price is listed as the Washington Huskies' starting quarterback on the depth chart released Wednesday, ahead of freshman Nick Montana.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Keith Price was named Washington's starting quarterback in a post-spring depth chart released by the school Wednesday.

It's no real surprise as Price had been assumed the leader throughout the spring in the competition with Nick Montana to replace Jake Locker, taken in the first round of the NFL draft last week by the Tennessee Titans. And UW coach Steve Sarkisian said Saturday at the Huskies' Spring Game that it was accurate to say Price had the edge.

But the depth chart was the first acknowledgment of a pecking order at that position and included a quote from Sarkisian: "Based on his entire body of work this spring, Keith Price has earned the right to be our starting quarterback. Keith worked extremely hard this spring and has developed into a team leader. I am also pleased with the progress of Nick Montana, who will continue to push Keith and make us a better football team."

Sarkisian said Saturday that if he did make a declaration of a starter now that he anticipated the competition would continue in the fall. Still, the announcement seems another step toward Price taking the first snap of the 2011 season, which begins Sept. 3 when Eastern Washington comes to Husky Stadium.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Price, a sophomore, was assumed the leader going into the spring ahead of Montana, a redshirt freshman and the son of Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, due to his experience.

While Montana sat out last year as a redshirt, Price played in eight games, starting one, at Oregon, when Locker was injured. He completed 19 of 37 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns in those appearances, including a key TD in the fourth quarter of a win at USC.

Price also had a standout performance in the Spring Game on Saturday, completing 20 of 28 passes for 212 yards with three touchdowns and also running 29 yards for another score.

The depth chart left many other positions still unclear, notably the two outside linebacking spots where the Huskies are looking for replacements for Mason Foster and Victor Aiyewa. All six linebackers who played at those spots in the spring were listed as potential starters.

The most notable of listed starters might be the designating of Josh Shirley as a "rush" end, a new position for the Huskies. Shirley, previously listed as a defensive end/linebacker, was one of the stars of the spring with his pass rushing off the edge as the Huskies developed new looks up front to get him on the field. That has UW listing 12 defensive starters, depending on the formation.

Also notable, former walk-on Jonathan Amosa of Rainier Beach High was listed as the starting fullback ahead of sophomore Zach Fogerson, who missed the last two weeks of spring drills with a concussion.

The school also confirmed that offensive lineman Erik Kohler will not need surgery for an MCL injury suffered in the spring game and is expected to be ready to participate when fall camp begins.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

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