Commentary

The Jake Locker paradox

No. 1 next April? Quite possible. A great season for the Huskies? More dubious

Originally Published: August 23, 2010
By Bill Connelly | Football Outsiders
Getty ImagesJake Locker is an elite player, but how much will that mean for the Huskies in 2010?

Jake Locker of the Washington Huskies should, by all means, be a good NFL quarterback -- most people seem to think he will be. For this autumn, though, he's still a college football player and no matter how you would define success at the collegiate level -- be it wins, statistics, advanced statistics or some combination thereof -- Locker hasn't found it; last year the Huskies only went 5-7.

It's rare to find a QB receiving such lofty preseason accolades coming off a sub-.500 season. Arizona State's Andrew Walter in 2004 might be the last true example of such a thing, but Walter was only given marginal consideration, at best. To get the hype in the fall, you usually have to achieve to some degree the year before -- if not by winning games, then at least by lighting up box scores. For the most part, Locker has done neither. His career record is 8-20, and while his statistics are solid, they have been far from spectacular so far. But as he enters what is basically his third collegiate season (two-thirds of the 2008 year were wiped out due to injury), there is still time for him to succeed to some degree.

So, aside from being drafted No. 1 overall next April, what would success look like for Locker and the Huskies this fall?