Huskies land prize recruit in QB Locker
The University of Washington football team received what might be its most significant recruiting news of the Tyrone Willingham era yesterday...
Seattle Times staff reporter
The University of Washington football team received what might be its most significant recruiting news of the Tyrone Willingham era yesterday when Ferndale quarterback Jake Locker said he would sign with the Huskies.
Locker, regarded by many as one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the country, has been widely considered one of the recruits who could give Willingham's efforts to turn around the Huskies some instant credibility.
"Yeah, definitely," Locker said yesterday when asked if he understood the significance with which his commitment will be perceived. "Hopefully, we can get a couple more big ones and get a really good class in here."
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Locker led Ferndale to the Class 3A final last year, where it lost to Bellevue. He threw for 1,314 yards and 16 touchdowns and ran for 987 yards and 15 touchdowns in being named to the Associated Press all-state team as a quarterback and safety.
Locker said he decided to commit yesterday "because it just felt like it was time to make a decision, and I just felt like it was the best place for me, and it's close to home."
He also said he is confident Willingham will soon turn around a UW team that finished with its worst record ever last season at 1-10.
"I think he's doing all the right things with the program," Locker said. "He's doing what he needs to focus on first off the field before worrying about the wins and losses on the field."
Locker said he got to know offensive coordinator Tim Lappano well during recruiting and likes the direction of the Huskies' offense, which is expected to put more emphasis on quarterbacks running the ball.
"They want their quarterbacks to run around a bit, so that's great," he said.
Locker made the call to UW coaches yesterday, a day after returning from the Elite 11 camp in Southern California, a gathering of the top high-school quarterbacks on the West Coast. He also had offers from Michigan and Tennessee and seriously considered USC, Washington State and Oregon State, among others, before choosing the Huskies.
Locker is also a top baseball prospect and hasn't ruled out the possibility of bypassing college to play pro baseball, as did other recent UW quarterback commits such as Grady Sizemore and Matt Tuiasosopo.
"I don't want to say no, that I'm closing that off, but football is my main focus right now," he said yesterday.
Locker is the fourth commitment in Washington's Class of 2006, a group already drawing raves in recruiting circles. Also in the class are linemen Cameron Elisara of Spokane and Ryan Tolar of Pasco, and running back James Montgomery of Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Commitments are not binding, and players cannot sign letters of intent until February. But Locker said Huskies fans needn't worry he might change his mind.
"I didn't make a decision to go back on it later," he said.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.