Keith Price threw roughly 45 passes at the UW's Pro Day on Wednesday in front of scouts from about 20 NFL teams.
Keith Price threw roughly 45 passes at the UW's Pro Day on Wednesday in front of scouts from about 20 NFL teams.Photo by Anastasia Stepankowsky
As he slung passes all over the field in Dempsey Indoor on Wednesday afternoon, former UW quarterback Keith Price wore a black hat, turned backwards. It had a simple message across the front in bold, white letters: Don’t doubt me.
Wednesday was one of his final chances to silence the doubters as he took the field with 14 other former Huskies at Washington’s Pro Day in front of scouts from about 20 NFL teams, including the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, and Cleveland Browns.
Unofficially, Price threw about 45 passes, completing all but five, with most of his incompletions coming at the end of his workout on deep passes that were slightly overthrown. The quarterback from Compton, Calif., said he wanted to prove his arm strength to the scouts who may think his 6-foot-1 frame isn’t big or strong enough to power the ball down the field. The big highlight of his workout was a 60-yard completion to wide receiver Kevin Smith, and by the end, he said he was pleased with his performance.
“That I can throw the rock pretty good,” Price said when asked what he showed, while flashing his signature smile. “I thought it went well. Obviously ball placement on a couple throws when I was fatiguing, throwing 40, 50 straight balls in a row, your ball placement is going to be a little off. It’s just a matter of staying consistent and forgetting the last throw.”
What Price hasn’t forgotten is the snub he got from the NFL Combine in January. After the UW’s season ended in December, he said he was almost positive he was going to go to the combine, and he trained for the event. But his name didn’t make the list and he still doesn’t know why it didn’t. To make it even worse for Price, all of his training partners in Southern California, including Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles and Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey, received invitations, and the UW gunslinger was the only one left at the training facility.
The quarterback wasn’t the only one who was surprised by the snub, as it caught running back Bishop Sankey off-guard as well.
“I was a little bit taken aback by it,” Sankey said. “First of all because I know what he’s done here at the university and how great of a quarterback he is, and I think he added a little bit of a chip on his shoulder. I think he wanted to come out here and prove to everybody that he is a capable quarterback.”
Being the underdog isn’t a new situation for Price, as he said he’s had to do it at almost every level. In high school, he played in the shadow of former USC quarterback Matt Barkley. When he came to the UW, Nick Montana, son of NFL legend Joe Montana, had already grabbed all the headlines, leaving Price out of the spotlight again.
“Ever since I can imagine, even when I was a kid, I was always having to prove myself,” Price said. “Now all of my production here, I don’t get invited to the combine and now I have to prove myself all over again. Now God, I think He knows that that’s when I’m at my best and it keeps me hungry.”
Price and safety Sean Parker, who also didn’t attend the combine, led the field of nine former players who participated fully in drills. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who is still recovering from surgery on a stress fracture in his foot, did not participate in on-field drills, while Sankey, who wanted to show off his receiving abilities, caught passes out of the backfield from Price and didn’t drop any. The running back participated only in position drills.
Price, Parker, Sankey, and Seferian-Jenkins all said they have not had any meetings with teams yet, but are hoping to get some in the coming weeks.
“It’s a waiting game from now on,” Parker said.
— Seferian-Jenkins said he is targeting April 25 or 26 for medical clearance for his fractured foot.
— Fullbacks Jonathan Amosa and Dorson Boyce, who last played with the Huskies in 2012 and 2010, respectively, participated in select agility and position drills.
— Other participants included cornerbacks Greg Ducre and Tre Watson, linebackers Princeton Fuimaono and Thomas Tutogi, defensive lineman Sione Potoa’e, wide receivers Antavius Sims and James Johnson, and place kicker Travis Coons.
— Johnson, who was medically disqualified at the UW prior to the 2012 season after undergoing three wrist surgeries, drew raves from his former teammates. He had one incompletion, a deep throw from Price that sailed over the receiver’s head, but made steady catches throughout the rest of the workout.
Reach reporter Thuc Nhi Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @thucnhi21
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