Monday, December 14, 2009

Locker to return to UW for senior season didn’t take long.

Nine days after declaring he would carefully consider his options, quarterback Jake Locker has decided to return to the Washington Huskies for his senior season.

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He announced Monday he would not enter his name in the 2010 NFL Draft pool.

“After a great deal of careful thought and deliberation, I have decided to return to Washington and play my senior year,” said Locker in a statement released by the university. “I am very excited about this team’s opportunities and potential for the upcoming season and I am looking forward to being a part of it.”

ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit was the first to report the news live on the air Monday at noon.

Locker, a native of Ferndale, passed for 2,800 yards and 21 touchdowns, and led the Huskies’ remarkable turnaround under first-year coach Steve Sarkisian – from 0-12 in 2008 to a 5-7 mark this season.

His 5,374 career passing yards rank No. 6 all-time on the UW list. If he duplicated what he did this season, he would move into the No. 2 slot behind Cody Pickett.

At his end-of-the-season press conference last week, Sarkisian – not offering anything definitively about which way Locker was leaning in his decision – listed all the elements that would factor in his decision to stay or turn professional.

Yet, in subtle ways, the coach made a couple of inferences where he felt confident Locker would return.

At one point, he said he was “very optimistic” his star player would come back, reminded the media how much Locker loved the UW.

Turns out, Sarkisian was right on.

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