Chris Petersen is looking to upgrade the passing attack for the Washington Huskies this spring to jumpstart the offense in 2015. His quarterback situation changed dramatically when returning starter Cyler Miles stepped away from the team, leaving UW with a full-fledged quarterback competition. While the race remains wide open, redshirt freshman K.J. Carta-Samuels should be the man to lead the Huskies next fall.
With Miles unavailable and Troy Williams transferring, the only quarterback on the roster with any experience for 2015 is junior Jeff Lindquist. He has good size at 6-foot-3 and 244 pounds with enough athleticism to make some plays with his legs. He started the season opener last season when Miles was serving a one-game suspension, but left a lot to be desired against the Hawaii Warriors (who finished 2014 at 4-9). In that game, Lindquist completed just 10-of-26 pass attempts for 162 yards and a touchdown, with the bulk of that production coming on a 91-yard catch and run for a touchdown by John Ross.
By his own admission, Lindquist can struggle with accuracy and his production in 2014 backs that up. He completed just 33 percent of his passes in 2014 as he found difficultly in putting throws right on the receiver. If Washington hopes to improve their woeful passing offense from last season, which finished No. 11 in the Pac-12 at just 200.1 yards per game, they can’t rely on a quarterback who isn’t able to consistently connect with his receivers.
Carta-Samuels shouldn’t have that problem. Coming out of high school, Carter-Samuels was lauded for his accuracy and quick release as a prep quarterback and rated as the No. 14 pocket passer in his class in 2013. He’s solidly put together at 6-foot-2 and 219 pounds with plenty of arm talent and enough athleticism to be dangerous. During his redshirt season in 2014, Carta-Samuels lit it up on the scout team as he developed his game and learned Petersen’s playbook.
The best teams Petersen has coached during his career have been able to throw the ball. Carta-Samuels is a young, talented quarterback that Washington can build around and really jumpstart the Petersen era in year two. He isn’t the most experienced option, but his ceiling is sky high and he can provide a much-needed spark to the Husky passing attack in 2015.