As radio talk shows and message boards crackled with debates over decisions he made on the field Saturday, and off the field last winter, Jake Locker shrugged it all off and simply went back to work.
The Washington quarterback talked to reporters after Tuesday morning’s practice – his scheduled day to speak to the media – appearing none the worse for wear after Saturday’s 56-21 rout at the hands of Nebraska.
“Obviously, you think about it right after and watch the film and see what you can learn from,” he said. “But if you dwell on it, it’s going to continue to beat you. The most important thing is coming out here and working hard, having fun, enjoying this game and looking forward to our next opportunity to go out and play.
“There’s nothing I can do about it now. There’s nothing any of us can do about it now. So you don’t gain anything personally or as a football team sitting and wondering, ‘What if?’ ”
Locker insists that among the things he doesn’t wonder “what if?” about is his decision last December to return to Washington.
In the wake of Saturday’s game – in which he completed 4 of 20 passes for 71 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown – some have surmised that Locker is in danger of sliding down the NFL draft lists and potentially costing himself millions of dollars.
It was widely thought he could have been the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft had he decided to leave.
Saturday’s performance had the likes of ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. questioning whether Locker’s draft status will remain as high in 2011 unless he shows significant improvement the rest of the college season.
“Even if you try to avoid the numbers and concentrate purely on the talent, it’s impossible to look past a guy completing just 4 of 20 passes with two interceptions,” Kiper wrote Tuesday.
Locker, though, repeated what he has said since the December day he decided to return that nothing that happens this season would make him regret his decision to return.
“No, no, no, no,” he said. “Not at all. Like I’ve told you guys before, I made the decision because it was what I knew I wanted to do no matter what the outcome was. Obviously, it was a tough game, but a game I think I will be better for going forward. I will learn a lot from it and it will make me a better football player and allow me to grow as a football player and that’s what I’m able to take from it.”