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Originally published April 19, 2014 at 7:10 PM | Page modified April 20, 2014 at 4:31 PM

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Jeff Lindquist shines but UW quarterback competition to continue

In the spotlight for the first time at Husky Stadium, Lindquist soaked it all up Saturday afternoon. The Mercer Island product threw four touchdown passes, with one interception, during the scrimmage portion of the Huskies’ spring game, and he was the last to leave the field afterward.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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The rain had finally let up, and Jeff Lindquist was in no hurry to leave the field.

On three occasions, Washington’s sophomore quarterback climbed a 7-foot railing leading into the stands behind Husky Stadium’s north sideline. He took off his gold helmet and let a friend in the first row wear it. He posed for pictures with fans. He signed autographs. He smiled — a lot.

In the spotlight for the first time at Husky Stadium, Lindquist soaked it all up Saturday afternoon. The Mercer Island product threw four touchdown passes, with one interception, during the scrimmage portion of the Huskies’ spring game, and he was the last to leave the field afterward.

As the Huskies continue their search for new starters at quarterback and running back, most notably, nothing was decided Saturday as the Huskies wrapped up their first spring under new coach Chris Petersen. But Lindquist and redshirt freshman Troy Williams showed glimpses of potential in their first public dress rehearsal before a sparse crowd Saturday.

“I know everybody’s looking for the starting quarterback right now. We don’t have that,” Petersen said. “I think they both did a good job. They got a lot of reps, which was really, really nice. I think they probably feel like they improved as much as anybody” since spring practices began on March 4.

During the 11-on-11 scrimmage periods, Lindquist was playing mostly with the first-string offensive line and against the backup defense. In three red-zone series, Lindquist completed three touchdown passes, to receiver Jaydon Mickens, tight end Darrell Daniels and receiver John Ross.

Later, Lindquist had Ross open on a deep post route for another potential touchdown, but the ball was under thrown, tipped and intercepted by walk-on safety Nick Zelle in the end zone. Unofficially, Lindquist was 11 of 15 for 134 yards.

“I think today was really a fun day for us to cap off our spring period with a performance like this,” Lindquist said. “Obviously, there were things we can clean up, but it was a fun way to end it.”

The first-string defense limited Williams, who completed 11 of 18 attempts for 38 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He was also sacked four times, three by defensive end Hau’oli Kikaha and once by Joe Mathis.

“There’s always a few bumps in the road, but that’s what spring ball’s for — improving and getting better,” said Williams, in his first interview availability with local media. “And hopefully I can get it together by the time fall camp comes.”

By then, sophomore quarterback Cyler Miles is expected to be back with the team (and incoming freshman K.J. Carta-Samuels is also expected to be enrolled by then). Petersen reiterated that he does not have a timeline for when he might reinstate the suspended Miles, who remains the favorite to succeed the graduated Keith Price as UW’s starting quarterback.

“With K.J. coming in, Cyler, Jeff, me, it’s all wide open,” Williams said. “I don’t think anyone has the lead right now. We all have great skills, great talent. It’s going to be fun in the fall.”

Elsewhere, Deontae Cooper and Lavon Coleman impressed Saturday as the only two healthy scholarship running backs available. Cooper had nine carries for 68 yards, and Coleman had 18 carries for 99 yards, including a weaving 47-yard touchdown run on day’s final play from scrimmage.

“I expected a lot of work,” Cooper said, “and I’m happy with what I did today.”

Notes

• Linebacker Shaq Thompson, nursing an apparent minor injury, broke up a Lindquist pass early in the scrimmage, but didn’t do much after that, and he didn’t get any carries on offense.

• A handful of fans got to participate in team competitions. In the first, several fans had about a 10-yard head start in a 50-yard foot race against Ross, the Huskies’ fastest player. Ross won easily. In the second competition, fans competed against UW linemen in a punt-catching drill. The fans won easily.

Adam Jude: 206-464-2364

or ajude@seattletimes.com



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