Another round. …
Q: What type of numbers do you see Jake Locker putting up next year? Do you see a 2,500-1,000-yard season possible?
A: I think the passing number might be a little higher than you suggest, the rushing number a little lower. Locker threw for 2,800 yards last season — third-most in school history behind only the Cody Pickett-Reggie Williams years of 2002 and 2003 — and ran for 388. He had 171 rushing yards in the last two games, and I would expect that his rushing attempts and yards next year will more closely mirror the last two games than the first 10.
But not sure I see him getting to 1,000 yards rushing as the coaches will still want to control how much he gets hit — and if the Huskies are a little better overall as an offense, he won’t need to run as often as two years ago, when he had 986. As for passing, with a more veteran line and more experienced receivers, I think the passing attack could be a little better than it was last season. But again, if the overall team is a little better, he may not need to throw as much. So my guess is the passing number may be right around what it was last year, the rushing total maybe in the 500-600 range.
Q: I was curious about how the transfer bug might effect the Dawgs’ running game next season? With now just four returning RBs, do you foresee the rushing attack to be more aggressive in terms of using Jake Locker (although I think we all expect to see him shredding defenders like the ones against Arizona a tad bit more often) in trying to preserve Chris Polk and that pesky shoulder? Or, should we just expect the coaches to just staff the somewhat untested backups and hope they bloom?
A: I really don’t think the transfers at tailback will impact anything. I think if Willie Griffin and Curtis Shaw were going to be major factors this year they wouldn’t have left. The Huskies still have four returning TBs, as you note, as well as Deontae Cooper and Jesse Callier coming, both who should be here for the spring. That should be enough to get the job done — UW had fewer than that last year. So I really don’t think the two transfers at TB will change anything.
Q: Who are the long-snapper candidates for next season?
A: The leader for the spot heading into the spring I think will be Brendan Lopez, a Bellevue High grad who played briefly at Michigan before coming back to UW and becoming a walk-on. He was listed as the backup to Danny Morovick all year and has two years of eligibility left. I’m sure there will be another walk-on or two on the roster, as well. There are some other players who can probably do it — Kavario Middleton was one who practiced it at times last year. But I think they’d prefer a specialist.
All for now (though as always, feel free to ask more questions in the comments section).
Another round. …
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