SEATTLE — Washington senior quarterback Keith Price will have to pass a big test Thursday if he wants any chance of playing Saturday night.
Even as Price has been relentlessly rehabbing his injured throwing shoulder, the Huskies (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12) have been preparing this week as if redshirt freshman Cyler Miles will make his first career start at Oregon State on Saturday (7:30 p.m., ESPN2).
“If that’s the case,” Miles said Wednesday, “I’m just gonna go play and try to be confident in my abilities and my teammates.”
On Thursday, Price is scheduled to practice for the first time this week; after that, UW coach Steve Sarkisian said he will make a decision on the starting quarterback.
“We’re planning on Cyler playing in the game,” Sarkisian said. “That’s our approach. If Keith is able to go and shows us he’s able to go … that’s a bonus for us.”
When he hasn’t been doing three or four hours of daily rehab, Price has been on the field and in pads with the rest of his teammates this week. But he hasn’t attempted a throw since the first half against UCLA last Friday night, when his shoulder injury was severe enough that Miles had to relieve him in the second half.
“I’m treating it like any other week. I’ve been watching crazy hours of film and getting treatment — that’s pretty much all I’ve been doing,” Price said. “I still have a high belief that I’ll play, I’ve been rehabbing like I’m going to play, so hopefully I’m ready to go.”
If the job falls to Miles, Sarkisian said the offensive plan won’t be limited for the first-time starter.
“He’s a different player than Keith, so we have to tailor some things a little bit differently for him,” Sarkisian said. “But he can handle our offense, so I don’t think we have to minimize or try to do more with him — it’s just running our offense.”
Price, a three-year starter, has started 25 games in a row for Washington. The last start he missed was at Oregon State in 2011, when Nick Montana made his only start for the Huskies in a 38-21 loss to the Beavers.
Stringfellow busts out
In the second half against UCLA, Miles connected several times with true freshman wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow, who in his first start hauled in his first official touchdown from Miles while powering a pile of defenders into the end zone.
Stringfellow finished with eight catches for 147 yards. He also had a 38-yard touchdown catch from Price nullified by a penalty in the first half. The Pac-12 later apologized to UW for the blown call.
“I was waiting for my shot to shine, and what a better way to do it than in front of my friends and family,” said Stringfellow, a Perris, Calif., native.
Stringfellow, listed at 6 feet 3, 225 pounds, had entered the UCLA game with just three catches, for 20 yards, on the season.
day in recruiting
A day after receiving an oral commitment from Marysville four-star recruit Austin Joyner for the Class of 2015, Washington’s current recruiting class took a few twists and turns Wednesday.
Erik Brown, a four-star wide receiver from Fontana, Calif., de-committed from UW and opted to commit to California on Wednesday morning. Then, on Wednesday afternoon, another four-star receiver, Rahshead Johnson of Long Beach, Calif., tweeted that he had also de-committed from UW.
About an hour later, Johnson tweeted that he had re-committed to UW, apparently after talking with Sarkisian. Johnson reportedly is making a visit to Washington State this weekend.
“I just got confused was all,” Johnson told the recruiting site 247sports.com. “With Kasen (Williams) now coming back next year I was just worried that I might not get on the field early.”
With Johnson back on board, Washington has eight verbal commitments for the Class of 2014, fewest in the Pac-12.
With just 14 seniors listed on the roster, UW is believed to have fewer scholarships available to offer for the Class of 2014 than in a typical year.