Another round. …
Q: What’s the latest on Jake Locker?
A: Coach Steve Sarkisian updated his status for us on Wednesday, saying Locker is progressing just fine to be ready for the beginning of spring practice March 31. Sarkisian said now that recruiting is over, the coaches will really be able to begin working with Locker in terms of learning the playbook (they can’t do any actual football-type stuff until spring practice, though Locker can on his own.) “Next week he can actually get going with a football and learn what the playbook looks like and start the process a little bit,” Sarkisian said. “We’ve been gone so much, in and out, that it’s made it difficult for him. He’s trying to learn stuff on his own, but now I think he can really get going. He looks great. Every report I’m getting (on his thumb) looks good. And he feels good, which is the key. Sometimes you get reports that a guy is progressing, but the guy is saying he’s hurt. But he feels good, which is critical.”
Q: What was the deal during the press conference the other day where Sarkisian said he didn’t like the term “mat drills?”
A: Mat drills has kind of become a generic term for the winter off-season conditioning program, though it originates with agility drills that were literally conducted on a mat. Over time, the whole program came to be referred to by many as mat drills. Sarkisian said he didn’t like the term because “it’s too old-school for me.” He didn’t elaborate. But mat drills have been cited in a couple of the off-season conditioning deaths of college players through the years. Sarkisian said his team is doing off-season conditioning drills, and this all sounds like just a matter of semantics. Now that recruiting is over, I plan to try to get with one of the new conditioning guys soon and get a sense for how they are doing things now.
Q: What can we expect from Sark in terms of building relationships with Washington high school coaches? Any formula he’s bringing up from USC? UW will always have the geographical problem on recruiting out of state and it seems like the program really lost touch with the base.
A: I think more than a few would agree with you on your latter point. I don’t know if there’s any real formula to it other than getting out on the road and meeting as many of the coaches as he can and letting them know they are welcome at UW at any time. I think his opening up of the program would be the biggest thing he is bringing with him from USC. Sarkisian says he wants people around — high school coaches, players, fans, media. I think that’s the biggest thing, just letting people know they are wanted and welcome. I’m not sure every area coach felt that way the last few years.
— Here’s an interesting read from Scott Wolf of the LA Daily News on how Sarkisian apparently ruffled some feathers at USC by trying to steal away some of the Trojans’ recruits. He also says he thinks USC’s staff is better now with the departure of Sarkisian and Nick Holt. Sarkisian said on LOI day that he didn’t “try to poach” USC’s recruits. He said he only went after players USC was recruiting who also showed an interest in Washington. He said players who were firmly committed to USC he didn’t try to touch.
Another round. …
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