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Originally published Friday, April 29, 2011 at 7:26 PM

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Mercer Island star quarterback Lindquist commits to UW

"We kind of laid it out and at the end of the process, we were like, 'We think UW is the overall better place for me.' So that's where I'm at," the 6-foot-3, 225-pound junior said.

Seattle Times staff

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quotes Congratulations to Jeff Lindquist for finalizing his decision. As a Husky fan, I am... Read more
quotes Congratulations Jeff, Excellent decision. Now it is your job to get them big boys... Read more
quotes Outstanding! Read more

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Mercer Island quarterback Jeff Lindquist sat down with his parents, Tom and Juli, to talk about his future Thursday night.

It was time to make a decision.

They looked carefully at Washington and Stanford, trying figure out which school presented the best fit. In the end, he decided to stay home and play for the team he has loved since he was a child.

"We kind of laid it out and at the end of the process, we were like, 'We think UW is the overall better place for me.' So that's where I'm at," the 6-foot-3, 225-pound junior said.

Lindquist is the second player to commit for the Class of 2012 after Muir High (Calif.) running back Tairen Owens announced his decision in March. The dual-threat quarterback, rated No. 13 at his position in the country by Scout.com, becomes the first member of a highly touted in-state class to announce his decision.

"I feel like I just let out a huge breath of air," said Lindquist, who admitted he has a large Fathead sticker of a Husky helmet in his room. "It's nice to have it over with, but I'm also excited for it."

It wasn't an easy decision for Lindquist. When Islanders coach Brett Ogata talked to him Thursday, it seemed like he would need more time to weigh his options and would possibly extend his tentative May 1 deadline.

There was a lot to consider with Stanford's academic reputation and his respect for its coaching staff. It didn't make things easier that his brother, Sam, is a pitcher on the Cardinal baseball team. When Lindquist pulled Ogata out of class Friday morning to break the news, it caught the coach by surprise.

" 'That's great, congratulations,' " Ogata told his quarterback. "It totally caught me off-guard. It was pretty cool, though. I'm so happy for him. He made his decision. It's a good decision, so I'm really happy for him."

During his junior season, Lindquist threw for 15 touchdowns and close to 2,000 yards. He also rushed for more than 1,000 yards and scored 18 touchdowns. His athleticism and attitude have caused some to draw comparisons to Jake Locker, who was selected by Tennessee with the No. 8 pick in NFL draft Thursday.

"When you see Jake Locker and you hear him talk, it's all about being humble, it's all about being a really good person, really nice, really kind," Ogata said. "That's Jeff. He's the exact same way in that regard.

"In terms of a player on the field, they're both big, athletic, strong, fast people, and in terms of the arm strength, they both have that, so there are lots of similarities between those two."

When Lindquist made his decision, he pushed back a scheduled Friday trip to California. Now he is looking forward to watching the Huskies spring game Saturday from a new perspective.

"I think it will be a lot of fun to see it from a different lens," Lindquist said. "I don't really know what to expect from it, but it should be a lot of fun. I'm going with a couple of my buddies and a couple of family members, so it should be a good time."

Mason Kelley: 206-464-8277 or mkelley@seattletimes.com

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