Year one of the Steve Sarkisian era at the University of Washington was largely a big success. After not winning a game in 2008, the Huskies fired Ty Willingham after an 0-12 season and plucked Sarkisian away from USC’s staff. The Huskies had a few disappointing performances and lost several games they probably should have won. They finished the year 5-7, not good enough for bowl eligibility, but certainly a giant step in the right direction. There’s reason to be very optimistic about next year for the Huskies and their fans. Why? News came over the weekend that stud quarterback Jake Locker will return for his senior season rather than entering this April’s NFL Draft.
Locker’s father, Scott, joined 950 KJR in Seattle with Dave “Softy” Mahler to talk about the thought process behind his son’s decision, why he supports him 100%, and why how high he was projected to be drafted had no bearing on Locker’s decision.
On his son announcing his intentions to return to school for his senior season:
“Oh I think it’s great especially from Jake’s standpoint just so you know, the questions can be done and people can quit speculating about what he’s going to do. And everyone will know and I think it will be easier for him to focus on the task at hand getting ready for the season, with his guys knowing that he’s going to be back to help them get to where they want to be.”
On if Locker ever explicitly asked his dad about what he thought he should do:
“Basically he’s interesting in the way he deals with stuff because we talk of things and we each throw out our ideas of what’s good and it’s kind of a punch-counterpunch kind of thing. Never did he come right out and say what do you want, because he knows what my answer would be. He knows the answer to that because we’ve had that conversation before. Basically when it comes to the end of the day, it’s all about you and what you want. It does matter what I think, what your mom thinks, what anyone else thinks because you have to make the decision and you got to live with it. And I have no doubt in my mind that you’ll make the right decision, and he did, he made it and I feel great about it. And I support him 100%.”
On why Locker decided to pass up on the instant millions he would have earned next spring had he entered the NFL Draft:
“Well, I think it all goes back to – every time it gets to the subject of money, I tell people he’s not about that. I know it’s hard to believe when you’re talking millions of dollars, but he’s never been about that. When it does come to him, he’ll be happy with it, don’t get me wrong. It’s not as if he doesn’t want it in some instances, but it’s all about doing and being with your buddies. And you know, you can’t go back and redo college. You leave now and that part of your life is over, and I don’t think he was ready give that up and I don’t think he was ready to give up on the fact that he thinks this team has a chance to be really, really good.”
On if they knew where Locker was projected to be drafted:
“The evaluation hasn’t come back. They put in for it but it hasn’t come back yet. But that’s interesting you ask because that was one of the things I said, ‘you sure you don’t want to wait until the evaluation comes back. I asked him that this morning and he said that isn’t part of – it doesn’t matter where I would have gone. It matters what I want to do. And I want to come back and I want to be playing here, and I’ve decided that’s how I wanted to roll so that’s not part of the decision. So, you know, he stuck to his guns good and I’m proud of him for making the decision and sticking to it.”