Washington Pac-10 Media Day Quotes

The Washington Huskies were in southern California Thursday as part of the Pac-10 Media Day festivities. Head Coach Steve Sarkisian and starting linebacker Mason Foster spoke about the conference, the move toward greater publicity for left coast football, the need for the Huskies to play in Los Angeles every year, and Jake Locker's decision to stay for his final year of school.

Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian

Opening statement:
"Growing up in the Pac-10 and Southern California and watching this great conference, I think this event is fantastic. I think it's indicative of Larry Scott and his aggressiveness. I think this conference is headed in a tremendous direction. I'm excited for our football program because I think we're on that same wave."

"We are obviously led by a tremendous senior quarterback in Jake Locker who has all of us primed for a fantastic senior season. His work ethic on and off the field is tremendous. The leadership he provides on the offensive side of the football is huge for us."

"On the defensive side, Mason Foster is a fantastic player. We've got the senior leadership to bring the young guys along to do something pretty special. That doesn't mean you go out and win every game, because this is a very difficult conference and there's a lot of parity. That doesn't mean we don't have great football teams. We have great coaches and tremendous players."

"Our challenge is to take that next step. As we move towards the season and the Pac-10 Conference and the Race for the Roses, it is going to be an exciting time."

On the importance of Northwest schools to be playing in Los Angeles:
"The most important game is here on January 1. That's what we're all trying to get to. We all recruit in the Southern California area. We'd all like to be playing down here so our recruits can play in front of their family and friends. Whether it's in Los Angeles, Seattle, Pullman, Corvallis or Eugene, we need to win. That's the ultimate goal."

On coaching against USC head coach Lane Kif?n after working together at USC:
"It will be extremely competitive. Lane and I are still great friends. He will do a great job at USC. It will be fun to see each other on opposing sidelines. Hopefully we get to do it for quite some team against each other."

On quarterback Jake Locker's decision to stay for his senior season:
"I thought we all handled it very well. We really tried to get him to a point where we could educate him and ultimately let him go make the decision. He's physically gifted. He's a better human being. The humility and loyalty he has is something we try to embody in our program. How he handled the situation is indicative of who he is."

On the value of a quarterback like Jake Locker in the Pac-10:
"Historically in this Conference, the teams that have won Pac-10 Championships or have been in that race at the end have had veteran leadership at that position. Ultimately, if you really want to win a Pac-10 Championship, you have to find a way to win on the road. We will take the advantage of having that senior quarterback who has been in those environments."

Senior linebacker Mason Foster

On defensive coordinator Nick Holt and what he means to the defense:
"He brings intensity and enthusiasm to our defense. As a defense, we embody his personality. We understand what he's trying to do with the defenses in his blitzes. I am looking for great things out of our defense."

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