For my story for Thursday’s paper, I touched on one of the obvious subplots of Saturday’s Apple Cup — what it might mean for the legacy of UW quarterback Jake Locker (pictured right in a Dean Rutz photo).
Locker’s accomplished much during his UW career, including already setting a school record for total touchdowns accounted for with 78 — 51 passing and 27 rushing. He’s also just four off the school record for passing TDs — Cody Pickett holds it currently with 55. (And for all the talk of his issues with accuracy, his career completion percentage isn’t that far off most of the other UW greats. Locker’s is 54.1 — Pickett’s was 57.5, Brock Huard’s 55.3, Marques Tuiasosopo’s 55.9 — Damon Huard is the leader at 59.7).
But quarterbacks inevitably are judged mostly by what the team accomplishes during their tenure, and the reality for Locker is that UW is 13-25 in his 38 starts.
That record, however, will look a lot better if Locker can lead UW to a win in the Apple Cup and into a bowl game for the first time since 2002.
I asked former UW quarterback Hugh Millen this week if it was accurate to say that Locker’s career may be looked at a lot differently if the Huskies can get to a bowl.
“If I stuck my finger in the wind and kind of read the sense of Husky fans I think it (winning the Apple Cup and getting to a bowl) is very significant,” Millen said. “His legacy, in most people’s eyes, would be substantially enhanced.”
Millen, though, says that while he acknowledges that as a reality, he thinks that’s a little unfair.
“I’ll always believe that Jake was about the last of the source of their problems over the last few years,” he said. “In so many ways I’m just grateful that he came to Washington when he could have had choices to go to teams that were riding a lot higher than the Huskies were when he elected to come. So it wouldn’t diminish what I thought of Jake Locker at all if they didn’t make it to a bowl. But it would enhance — and in many people’s eyes greatly enhance — his legacy if he can get there.”
And Millen said he understands why some feel that way.
“All schools, especially schools that have a bowl history, that’s how you are measured, how you do in bowls, the success of your team,” he said.
The story also includes some of the thoughts of UW coach Steve Sarkisian and Locker’s father, Scott, on the subject, as well.
And the story also is accompanied by a poll question that I’ll pass along here.
December 1, 2010 at 10:31 PM
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