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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 1, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Position preview — quarterback

Fall camp is now just nine days away, which means it’s time to really start getting ready for the season.
So with that in mind, I figured I’d provide a last set of previews on each of UW’s position groups as they head into the season.
I’ll post at least one of these a day until camp begins, giving you a look at the depth chart at each position, asking what is the key question at each group, and trying to assess what UW’s comfort level should be at each position, It’s a rating I’ve seen elsewhere, and how it works is I’ll put a number, from 1 to 10, of how comfortable UW fans should feel in that position heading into that position — 1 being equivalent to lounging in a La-Z-Boy, 10 strapped in a dentist’s chair.
Starter — Jake Locker, Jr.
Backup — Ronnie Fouch, So.
Reserves — Taylor Bean, So.; Keith Price, Fr.
BIGGEST QUESTION? Is this the year Locker finally begins to really fulfill all of that vast potential?
To date, Locker has mostly flashed tantalizing snippets, often for reasons largely out of his control. Remember, he was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 2007, something that seems easy to forget now, even if his passing was erratic throughout. That’s an award voted on by the coaches, who may know a little more than some of the people who looked at nothing other than Locker’s passing percentage and decided he ought to be a safety.
Last season was obviously almost completely a waste with Locker really only completely healthy for the BYU game — which was also the only time the Huskies looked like a competitive team for 60 minutes (and the one game that gives some seeds of hope for this season). Though the season was truncated, his accuracy was better (53.8 percent compared to 47.3 as a frosh, and worth taking into account that the WR corps was much less proven last season than in 2007).
He says he feels better than ever heading into this camp, and though he’s learning a new system, which figures to bring a few hiccups, he’s now in his fourth year of college, the team when QBs often take huge leaps in production.
Coach Steve Sarkisian has said he has set a goal for Locker to complete 60 percent of his passes. No UW QB has done that since Damon Huard in 1995 (63.5 percent), so it might be a little ambitious. But if Locker gets close, it will mean a much more dangerous and efficient offense.
And Locker will still be one of the most dangerous running QBs in the country, even if they may not call as many plays for him to run this season.
The situation behind Locker is also better this year than it was in 2008 as Fouch at least got eight starts under his belt. Not sure how fair it is to judge him much on his numbers from last season given how bad everything was around him. For the people who want to write off Fouch, worth remembering that the coach who made the biggest push for his services after he committed to UW was Cal’s Jeff Tedford, who has proven to know a thing or two about QBs. So it only makes sense that Fouch will be a lot better this season.
And one of the more intruiging frosh of fall camp will be Price, who despite all the attention already being lavished on Nick Montana, could well be the program’s QB of the future.
COMFORT LEVEL 3. This is probably the best position UW has, with the possible exception of LB, with an established and experienced starter, a backup who also has lots of playing time and a pretty highly-touted freshman arriving. What neither Locker nor Fouch has done much, obviously, is win, and until they do that, the jury has to remain out just a little bit. But the influence of Sarkisian and Doug Nussmeier should only speed up the improvement of each player, which given where they are in their careers figured to be vast this season anyway.



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