Day one of the Jake Locker media blitz of ESPN and New York has concluded, so figured I’d try to pass along a few of the highlights:
— First off, here’s the link of an appearance on the Brock and Salk Show on 710 ESPN Seattle(which means, I guess, he flew to New York so he could call in to a radio show located in a studio about two miles from the UW campus).
Among the highlights of that interview, Locker said that he got to “see Wall Street yesterday, got to see ground zero, saw the statue of liberty when we were driving, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge.
Also, when asked how comfortable he was with being a Heisman candidate and the school pushing him to a national audience, he said: “You know, I’m getting more comfortable with it. The biggest thing for me, is it’s just new. It’s fun, it’s something that’s neat to experience, and not a lot of people get the opportunity to. So, I really do enjoy it, it’s just new for me, and something that gets easier every time I do it, but at first it’s a little overwhelming, I just haven’t seen a lot of things like that before.”
Brock Huard later asked that “on College Football Live we broke down a play, it was a play against Cal where you audibled, you check down and threw a quick slant for a touchdown. My question to you is, could you have made that play at the beginning of the year?”
Replied Locker: “You know, I got a lot more comfortable, like I said, in the game plan, understanding why we were doing what we were doing, understanding why we got in that set and motioned out, and what we were hoping to accomplish by it. Then being able to, after the motion realize what would happen, and make the audible, I don’t know if I would have been as comfortable doing that at the beginning of the year. Just because I had other things on my mind, I had the play, the progression, the protection, those sorts of things on my mind, and the checks I could possibly make to give ourselves the chance to score that touchdown.”
Asked his goals for 2010, he said: “As far as our team goes, you know, obviously making a bowl game, we’d like to find ourselves contending for a Rose Bowl at the end of the year. And with that, you know, comes the individual stuff. The individual stuff will follow. I want to be a part of a very successful Husky football team, one that puts this team back on the map, and returns it back to the tradition that it once had. That’s where my goals lie, and all the other stuff, that’ll take care of itself if we’re able to accomplish those things.
Asked which is a bigger honor, Heisman or No. 1 overall pick, Locker said the Heisman because: “it’s a short list of guys, and the number one draft pick is as well, but that’s something that’s just, I don’t know, it’s the highest award in College Football for an individual to receive, and I love College Football, I love the game, I love everything about it. So to be able to hold that title, for that year, would be something that nobody could ever take away from you, and a memory that I don’t think could be repeated by a whole lot of things.”
Asked why the 2010 team will go to a bowl game, he said: “Because I think we got a taste of what it’s like to play as a team where people recognize who you are. We may not have handled it as we should have last year, but we experienced it, and I think that experience will allow us to deal with that in the right manner this year, and allow us to be successful on that stage. Because to become a great program you gotta learn to win win. Everyone expects you to. And that’s something we’re going to need to get use to, and something that, if we want to take this team where we’re capable of going, we’re going to have to be comfortable with that. ”
And finally, asked what he has to do to win the Heisman, he said: “I think I have to do a lot of what we broke down on that tape today. I have to have command of our offense. I have to not only tell the guys in the huddle the play with confidence, and with the conviction that we’re going to have success on that play, but also getting to the line of scrimmage and if something doesn’t feel right or doesn’t look good, we’re able to make a check and get us into a better play. And to be able to consistently do that, not just one or two times here and there, but consistently allow us to have to best chance for success play in and play out, game in and game out, and I think that’s where I individually need to be really crisp this year to have that kind of success.”
IN OTHER LINKS:
— Here’s a link to the live chat Locker held on ESPN.com today.
— Here’s Bruce Feldman’s blog, in which he says it’s “the year of Jake Locker” and includes a video clip of one of Locker’s appearances today.
— And not to be outdone, Rob Rang of NFLDraftScoutr.com wrote this today comparing Locker and Florida State’sw Christian Pondeer.
— And remember, you can follow every move of Locker’s trip here.