Apparently seeing the numbers were against him, redshirt freshman QB Troy Williams will transfer out of Washington, the school said Monday morning. In another move more expected, LB/RB Shaq Thompson, voted the college game’s most versatile player, said he will make himself available for the NFL draft.
Williams was a well-regarded prep player from Carson, CA., and played in five games this season, starting against Arizona State. On a wind-whipped evening at Husky Stadium, he completed 18 of 26 passes for 130 yards and two interceptions.
But he couldn’t beat out the incumbent, redshirt sophomore Cyler Miles, who himself was inconsistent in many of his 11 games as a starter, particularly in the first half of a 30-22 loss to Oklahoma State in the Cactus Bowl Friday.
In addition, first-year coach Chris Petersen brought a quarterback in his first recruiting class, K.J. Carta-Samuels, who redshirted after a stellar prep career in Saratoga, CA.
He will be joined in spring ball by heralded prep QB Jake Browning (Folsom, CA.), who enrolled at UW Monday along with OL Devin Burleson (Palmdale, CA.) and CB Ezekiel Turner (Pasadena, MD., via Pierce JC Los Angeles) all part of Petersen’s second recruiting class. Also remaining in the QB mix is Jeff Lindquist of Mercer Island, who started the opener against Hawaii as Miles sat out a suspension.
Thompson, a junior from Sacramento and a first-team All-America selection, is seen as a likely first-round draft choice as a linebacker/strong safety. He released a statement saying that after talking with his parents and Petersen, he is going pro, then thanked all for their support.
“I’m looking forward to achieving a new set of goals, facing new challenges that come with being in the NFL,” he wrote. “I’m excited to start the draft process, the next chapter in my life, but will forever and always be a Husky!”
Petersen also released a statement: “Shaq Thompson has been a wonderful representative of the University of Washington and the Husky football team, and he has our full support as he takes this important step. I look forward to what’s to come for him and to watching him embark on what will be a long, successful NFL career.”