The Jake Locker paradox
No. 1 next April? Quite possible. A great season for the Huskies? More dubious
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?
2010 SEASON PREVIEW