Thompson swings during spring break

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.comApril 5, 2013 

Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson was not hit with deep, probing questions when he went to Florida for 10 days during the break between spring practices.

Many of Washington’s football players went home between quarters and the split practice sessions. Not Thompson. He was in Fort Myers, Fla., as part of his baseball contract with the Boston Red Sox.

When he arrived for his second go-round in Florida in the rookie level Gulf Coast League for the Red Sox, Thompson’s teammates, many of whom had not been to college, had questions.

“ ‘How is school? How are the girls?’ ” Thompson said. “Typical boys.”

Thompson, whom the Red Sox selected in the 18th round of the 2012 draft, received oodles of unflattering and unwanted press after going south last year. He was 0-for-39 with 37 strikeouts and eight walks in 13 games in the GCL after not playing organized baseball since sixth grade.

This year, the Red Sox had Thompson stick to fundamentals. He didn’t appear in any games. He worked in left and center fields. He hit off the tee.

“I feel like I improved,” Thompson said.

Thompson was fifth on the team in tackles last season from his hybrid linebacker/nickel-back spot. He said he’ll decide between baseball and football when he is ready to enter the NFL draft. Thompson is on an accelerated class schedule and plans to graduate early.

In June, Thompson will go back to Fort Myers for more baseball. The Red Sox gave Thompson a $45,000 signing bonus and he can earn up to $100,000 if he plays four years.

When asked if he was a better football or baseball player, Thompson smirked.

“I’m not going to comment on that one,” he said.

PRICE ON TARGET

Following the end of the season, rumblings began about a quarterback competition being necessary for UW.

At the press conference previewing spring practice, coach Steve Sarkisian said Keith Price remains the starting quarterback. He then went on to say that competition at all spots is good, and quarterback would be no different.

This spring hasn’t been much of a QB competition.

Price has been on point throughout the spring practices. By any measure – group worked with, number of snaps handled or overall success – Price is the clear-cut starting quarterback.

Sarkisian said Price has been “outstanding” in five of the first six spring practices before the break. Practice resumed Tuesday and a depth chart at quarterback is being established.

Price is at the top. Last year’s backup, Derrick Brown, has been moved away from quarterback. He’s punted some and the Huskies are trying him in different spots. Redshirt freshman Cyler Miles appears to be the current backup, with Jeff Lindquist behind him and true freshman and early enrollee Troy Williams fourth.

EXTRA POINTS

Offensive lineman Erik Kohler joined the team for full practices this week after being out because of a knee injury suffered in the second game last season. Kohler worked at center and right tackle. … Tight ends Michael Hartvigson and Evan Hudson are splitting reps while starter Austin Seferian-Jenkins is suspended indefinitely following a DUI citation in early March. … Defensive tackle Sione Potoa’e has a broken finger and is wearing a “club” on his hand at practice. … Sarkisian said injured running backs Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper have not had any setbacks and will hopefully be ready for fall camp.

Todd Dybas todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @Todd_Dybas

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