Quick feet. Slow heartbeat.
Those were the physical characteristics that stood out about Cyler Miles when Dave Logan began coaching the precocious high school freshman five years ago in Denver. Soon, Logan learned he had a quarterback whose instincts and intellect matched his athletic gifts.
“He’s really bright,” said Logan, the former Denver Broncos receiver who coached Miles at Colorado football power Mullen High. “He picks up different offensive concepts very quickly. He’s obviously a great athlete — he can run and he can throw. And he’s a hard worker.
“He has all the things you look for in a quarterback and in the leader of the team.”
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Miles’ chance to lead the Washington Huskies has, it seems, come earlier than expected.
Senior quarterback Keith Price does not have any structural damage to his right throwing shoulder, UW coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday, but Price has been shut down from throwing until Thursday. That leaves Miles, a redshirt freshman, taking the practice snaps as UW’s No. 1 quarterback, and he’s in line to start his first game for the Huskies (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12) on Saturday night at Oregon State (6-4, 4-3).
“I do not think the lights will be too bright for Cyler,” Logan said. “He’s a guy that is used to the big stage. I know high school and college are different, but he’s played in a number of big games. He has a very, very slow heartbeat. I think he’ll be well prepared. I would be very surprised if he does not play really well.”
The 6-foot-4, 223-pound Miles relieved Price in the second half of UW’s 41-31 loss at No. 13 UCLA on Friday night, completing 15 of 22 passes for 149 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
“I had butterflies just like anybody should have,” he said after the game. “But my team made me very comfortable … and I took that and ran with it.”
At Mullen, Miles was part of two state-championship teams and was twice named to the all-Colorado team by The Denver Post. USC made a late push to sign Miles, who ultimately stuck with Sarkisian and the Huskies.
Asked Monday how Miles compares to Jake Locker as a running quarterback, Sarkisian said Miles is “more elusive” than the former UW star, but Locker was faster and more physical.
“As (Miles) plays more, he’ll run the football even more,” Sarkisian said. “I think he’s trying to find his way some — when is the right time to run it, when is not? We need him to run it. That’s one of the assets he possesses when he’s on the field. He’s a very accurate passer. I think he has more arm strength than people give him credit for — we saw that in the game the other night. But his legs are something that need to be a factor with him in the game.”
Price, meanwhile, was doing better Monday, with the swelling in his shoulder having gone down “rapidly” since Friday, Sarkisian said.
“Keith and I have been through a lot together,” the coach said, adding: “I don’t count the guy out. He’s a fighter; he’s a competitor.”
Adam Jude: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @a_jude.