SEATTLE – Jake Locker could have spent Tuesday getting ready to perform before NFL scouts as the draft approached.
Instead, Washington’s senior quarterback was on the field at Husky Stadium as the team began spring practice on an unseasonably chilly afternoon.
Locker wouldn’t have it any other way. NFL money can wait.
“I was really excited. Just the atmosphere, the intensity and the overall enjoyment that you have when you’re out here is something that you miss when you’re not,” Locker said. “It was great to get back out here with the guys and get yelled at and coached and play a little football.”
Coming off a 5-7 record in Steve Sarkisian’s first season at Washington, Locker decided to put off the NFL for another chance at boosting the Huskies’ resurgence. The small-town quarterback who hears it from his teammates when he sings country songs was expected to be a high first-round pick.
Locker didn’t wait long to make his decision.
Barely a week after the Huskies’ season ended, Locker announced he was returning for his senior year.
“He had a chance to go to the NFL and chose to come back, which I don’t have a problem with,” said wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, the Huskies’ leading receiver last season. “I kind of figured he was going to stay. I had that feeling he was going to stay.”