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Washington begins spring ball with questions at QB

SEATTLE (AP) Coach Chris Petersen began his second spring practice with Washington on Monday with no clue who will start at quarterback for the Huskies when the 2015 season begins.

It’s not the only position where Washington has questions. It may take at least a few more months before Petersen finalizes a depth chart for any spot.

”We’re going to let these guys compete, and we told them, and we mean this sincerely, we do not have a depth chart at any positions,” Petersen said. ”It is a seating chart, and I hope they move each practice.”

The quarterback situation for the Huskies has been in question since the end of last season when the Huskies lost 30-22 to Oklahoma State in the Cactus Bowl and Petersen declared all starting jobs, including the position of incumbent quarterback Cyler Miles, were open headed into the spring.

The competition was complicated in mid-March when the school announced that Miles, who started 12 of 14 games last season, was taking a voluntary leave of absence from the program for personal reasons.

With Miles absent but still listed on the roster, the Huskies have just three scholarship quarterbacks available. They have a single college start among them.

So when the Huskies started Monday morning, junior Jeff Lindquist, redshirt freshman K.J. Carta-Samuels and highly touted freshman Jake Browning all received reps with the first-team offense. Afterward, Petersen left the door open for Miles to return to the program.

”We’ll see what happens,” he said. ”But we got to go with the guys that are here now, and that’s where all of our focus is.”

Lindquist is the only one with game experience. As Miles’ backup last season, he completed 10 of 30 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. He started the season-opening win over Hawaii before Miles returned from a one-game suspension for his involvement in a pair of fights on the Washington campus in February 2014. Miles wasn’t charged in the incident.

Upon returning, Miles had an erratic season, throwing for 2,397 yards, 17 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 66.6 percent of his passes for a Washington offense that struggled. The Huskies finished 8-6 in Petersen’s first season.

After the season, quarterback Troy Williams, who started one game last year, transferred to Santa Monica College. That means Carta-Samuels, a 6-foot-2, 219-pound passer from Saratoga, California, who performed well last season on the scout team, will get a long look this spring.

But the most intriguing candidate could be Browning. He enrolled in January after setting national records at Folsom High outside of Sacramento, California. Browning matched a national record with 91 touchdown passes during his senior season in 2014. In three years as a starter, he set a national record with 229 career touchdown passes.

On Monday, Browning showed off a big arm but threw two interceptions during team drills.

The good news for Petersen: He has a little more than five months to figure out his starter before Washington opens the season Sept. 4 at Boise State.

”We love Cyler,” Petersen said. ”We support him and got his back without question, every guy on this team. Right now, we go with the guys we got.”

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