Christmas Comes Early for Huskies

What a wonderful start to the holidays. Who would have expected an early present from Jake Locker to you and me and his teammates and his family and the whole Husky community? He's coming back, and so will the fans and so will the wins. He's determined to lead this program back to the promised land and that means a winning season and a bowl bid.

As long as we're feeling good, let's just make it the Rose Bowl.

There is no question this young man just permanently endeared himself to all Husky fans for the rest of his life. At a time when one of America's true heroes has fallen, this local kid puts another honorable stamp on his already wonderful reputation. Jake Locker will own this town for the rest of his life. He will always be our personal home-grown hero.

To turn down a truck load of money just to play another year with his teammates borders somewhere between insanity and stupidity. That's what makes his decision so amazing, and by extension so special. But then, this is a very special kid. He always has been and always will be.

It was obvious that his teammates thought as highly of him as the NFL did when they named him their most inspirational player. Because of his decision, he is also the whole region's most inspirational person, so now it's up to the team to rise to his level of excellence. They have to, because he isn't coming back to lose. He's done enough of that since he arrived on campus four years ago, and now he wants to leave with the satisfaction of knowing he won a championship in college just like he did in high school.

What a wonderful thing to happen to the other young quarterbacks in the program. Ronnie Fouch has already had the privilege of working two years with Jake and Keith Price can only get better by also having two years. Now Nick Montana gets that privilege as well and all three will only get better watching and learning. They will push him and he will lead them just like he leads the whole team.

The improvement he made this last season was obvious to anyone who understands the game. He was considerably improved on almost all his throws. Although there are a number he would like to have back, his development as a passer simply stood out this season. His communication and connection with his receivers also got better as the year went on and I'm sure that was a consideration for him.

At the end of the season, UW Head Coach Steve Sarkisian started bringing back more of Jake's running game and when he did the Huskies simply exploded on offense. Jake now also knows how to avoid hits and runs when it is the last or best option. Early on in his career he ran because that's what he's always done; now he runs when it is the best thing to do.

Locker isn't worried about getting hurt because he is a warrior. He knows football is a contact game and that is part of the excitement of it all. He was a great safety in his prep days and has never shied away from contact anyway. He will be in the best condition of his life next year and he will have an All-American season.

His parents and family and the whole town of Ferndale will now have one more year to watch their favorite son play for the hometown team. What could be better than this? Well, maybe about three more 4-star recruits for the in-coming class, but let's not get too greedy. Let's just sit back and say Thank You. Thank you Jake Locker for all you have done and will do for our collective passion. Athletes like him might come around once every two generations, but there may never be another like him.

The Heisman Trophy is possible now, and so is All-Conference, All-American, and All-everything else. I know he couldn't care less. To him it is simply one more chance to lead his team to a championship. That's what drives him. Winning and winning with this group of players is probably the main reason he chose to come back. They are the ones he plays for and that's what makes him so special. He is a team player, and they all know it.

That's why he's back. Top Stories