Locker Earns Praise

Jake Locker is glad to be back on the field this year after an injury sidelined him early last season, and his contributions have earned him respect once again from Washington coaches and players, as well as their opponents.

Even prior to the first game of the season, Locker's teammates boasted on his behalf about his progress as a quarterback since he broke his hand against Stanford last year.

"He's a lot different," said wide receiver D'Andre Goodwin. "His touch passes are a lot better, he's been coached up on everything…He's looking a lot better."

"His competitive nature is amazing," added UW Head Coach Steve Sarkisian following Washington's opener against LSU. "The guy just doesn't quit. I saw accuracy in throws that I don't think he had before. I saw an understanding of an offense that is going to allow him to continue to grow."

Praise for Locker's athleticism and talent isn't limited to Washington's staff.

"That Jake Locker is mobile and accurate," said LSU head coach Les Miles following the Tigers' 31-23 win. "They designed a nice scheme that compliments what he does."

Both head coaches' impressions of Locker were a reflection of his confidence level on the field facing nationally-ranked LSU two weeks ago.

"I felt good. I felt really good Saturday night," Locker said the Monday following the LSU game. "I felt I knew where I was going with the ball, felt like I was seeing the defense pretty well, was able to recognize what they were doing, and have a good idea of where I needed to go with the football. I felt comfortable with everything we ran and everything we were doing and felt really good."

Days later, the compliments continued to stack up.

"He's playing better at quarterback," said Idaho head coach Robb Akey following Washington's 42-23 victory over the Vandals on Saturday. "I said that going into this ballgame. I think he's throwing the ball very well. He did hurt us with his feet also...He played a hell of a game today."

As of now, Locker leads the league in both total offense and passing yards per game. With the confidence that comes from having a coaching staff that has improved his ability to throw the ball, as well as recognition for his success from teammates and opponents, Jake's next challenge will be facing No. 3-ranked USC this coming Saturday. At least one person down at Southern Cal believes in what Locker can do.

"I've said this before and I think Jake is one of the best players I've ever seen in this conference in all the years I've been here," said USC head coach Pete Carroll during a conference call Monday. "He's the most extraordinary athlete I've seen in his position and I saw that as a freshman. So now, with Sark's coaching and the scheme and everybody all pumped up around him that makes him extremely dangerous."


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