When Allen Iverson was traded from the 76ers to the Denver Nuggets, he did an interview with Stephen A. Smith. Towards the end of the interview Smith asked Iverson, “Can you describe Allen Iverson as a player?” Iverson responded with one word, “Killer.” Smith then said, “Carmelo Anthony as a player?” Iverson again said, “Killer.” Then, to close out the interview, Smith asked, “Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson on the same team?” Iverson met that with, “Killer duo.” That was how AI chose to introduce himself to Denver fans. The Nuggets didn’t really work out. They didn’t win any championships, they didn’t come very close, and Carmelo and Iverson were not a ‘killer duo’.
This Saturday, Keith Price, who hails from Compton, will introduce himself to Husky and Pac-10 football fans. He won’t do that with some ridiculous interview, instead he’ll do it in a raucous environment against the number one team in the country. I think he’d prefer a ridiculous interview.
Before he gives us a formal introduction, some information on the player we’ll be meeting might be of some service. Mr. Price is the last thing Willingham left us. He was Ty’s last commit before he was fired. He stayed committed to the Huskies after Sark was hired despite some late interest from Oregon.
Price drew interest from Oregon because he’d fit in that system. In fact, he’s similar in build to Dennis Dixon and Darren Thomas. Like those two quarterbacks, he’s an elusive runner rather than a power runner (like Jake Locker and Jeremiah Masoli). We haven’t really seen how quick Price is yet, but he ran for quite a few yards in high school (579 yards his senior year) in a spread offense system. Taking that into account expect some read options out of the Huskies on Saturday. Price has been said to have a better play-fake than Locker on those options. Without going into a rant, it’d be nice to see that play run properly instead of being able to guess who’s getting the ball every time they run it.
Keith had a lot of success throwing the football in high school too. He threw for 2,264 yards his senior year and had a 71% completion percentage (stats via Scout.com). Despite these numbers, one of the knocks on Price coming in as a freshman was arm strength. No one seems to know if this guy can throw the ball down-field, and that’s a must if the Dawgs want to have any chance of an upset. In the short game, Price seems to be pretty effective. Sark stated this week that fans will be surprised with Price’s accuracy, I hope he’s right. Price has shown a quick release in mop-up duty this year.
Frankly, I feel a little bit sorry for this guy. After Nick Montana committed last year, Price became the forgotten man. When people think of the Huskies quarterback of the future, most people conjure up images of the Southern California kid who has a famous dad, not Keith Price. He has had a good moment (more on that in a minute) but I don’t think most fans realize that this guy will most likely be leading our team next year. For what it’s worth (not much) and from what I’ve seen, I think Price is miles ahead of Montana at this point. Yes, he’s had a year in the system but he just looks better to me. Plus, he just seems to be a likable guy. But, now he’s thrown into a nearly impossible situation that will leave fans with a bad taste in their mouth. It’s almost the exact scenario Ronnie Fouch was placed in, in 2008. That year wasn’t a fair judgment on Ronnie Fouch and Saturday won’t be a fair judgment on Keith Price. He is being thrown into the fire when it’s getting the hottest. But, this isn’t the first time this year.
In one of the weirder plays in recent Husky history, Keith Price came into the game against USC, with his team trailing, and threw an unorthodox touchdown pass to Chris Izbicki. He then stood in the pocket in a 2 point conversion attempt and fired a bullet that was dropped by his receiver, although it was tight coverage. Before most Husky fans had a chance to realize who was in the game, Keith Price threw for his first collegiate touchdown. Yes, this was only one play and not enough to draw certain conclusions off of but maybe Keith Price is one of those guys who thrives in these moments. Maybe he’s one of those guys that is happy to face the number one team in the country in his first start instead of being the guy who says, “Man, I wish we were playing New Mexico State instead.”
No matter what kind of guy and player Keith Price is, he’s up against the odds on Saturday. But, it is college football and anything can happen in this game. No matter the results, hold off judgment on Mr. Price. He works hard in practice and will surely give it all he has in the game, and frankly that’s more than we could say about our team last weekend. The Price probably won’t be right this week, but I’ll believe you regardless of the results, Keith. If nothing else, you’ve given me Price-to-Izbicki, and that’s more than most people can give.