Lots of plots will unfold before Jake Locker has to worry about where he is taken in the 2011 NFL draft.
A whole 2010 college football season will be played, and a University of Washington-generated Heisman Trophy campaign for the Huskies’ quarterback will take place long before next April.
Locker hopes that by the time he has to start thinking about what hotel to stay at or where to go sightseeing in New York City before the draft, his Huskies will have captured a Pacific-10 Conference title and played in a Rose Bowl.
But Thursday – the day fellow quarterback Sam Bradford was taken first overall by the St. Louis Rams – certainly was a checkpoint for Locker, who by many accounts could be the No. 1 overall selection of next year’s draft.
So, would he be paying attention to the action from this year’s draft?
“Oh yeah,” he beamed proudly. “Why wouldn’t I?”
But it was business as usual for Locker and the Huskies on Thursday as they prepared for their first real scrimmage Saturday.
There was no live feed of he draft piped in over the Husky Stadium loudspeaker. In fact, it wasn’t until Locker and his teammates – and even UW coach Steve Sarkisian – were walking off the field that were they notified about how the first round was going.
“ I love it. It’s part of our profession,” Sarkisian said. “It’s interesting. It’s a very interesting process. There’s no real science to it. It’s just interesting to watch it and get a feel for the draft and the picks that people make and why they make them and how they try to formulate and develop a football team.
“It’s different than recruiting,” he added. “In recruiting, we can have as many first-round draft picks as we want, essentially. In the NFL, you get slotted, and there are a lot of strategic moves that take place in how things get accomplished.”
Sarkisian was asked if on a day like Thursday, with Locker out on the field running the first-string offense, he appreciated his quarterback’s decision to return to the team even more.
“I don’t think like that. What I do think, it validates the decision he made and the reasoning for what he did and the concerns that some people might have in questioning what he did,” Sarkisian said.
“To have Sam Bradford be the first pick in the draft after having a season-long injury … discounts the theory, ‘What happens if you get hurt your senior year? What’s going to happen?’ That theory is thrown out the window. The guy was the first pick of the draft.”
Locker also applauded the Bradford-going-No. 1 scenario.
“I think it’s a good message for everybody, that you can come back and play your (fourth) year and still fulfill your NFL dreams and aspirations at the level you could have the year before,” Locker said. “It’s a good message for everybody in college football.”
Locker has become better pals with Jimmy Clausen, the Notre Dame quarterback who was projected to go in the first round Thursday but was not selected.
“I haven’t (talked to Clausen),” Locker said. “I’m sure he has a lot going on – don’t want to bother him with any more than he needs. Once it all settles down, I think I’ll give him a call to see how the whole process went for him.”
Locker downplayed any thought about trying to study what Bradford has gone through as a teaching tool for himself. The Ferndale product said he would watch the draft today and Saturday, especially to see where UW teammates Donald Butler and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim end up going.
“Jake is just real laid back. He doesn’t really get into all of that. He has a focus of getting better on the field with us,” Huskies receiver Jermaine Kearse said. “I mean, he’ll watch it, but he’s just kind of nonchalant about it.”
Newcomer Jesse Callier (left knee) was held out of practice Thursday with a sprained posterior cruciate ligament. In fact, the running back was sporting a knee brace. It is uncertain how much time he’ll miss. … Defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu (elbow) was hurt on a red-zone tackle of running back Deontae Cooper and sat out the rest of the contact drills. Sarkisian said the junior should be OK. … Sarkisian said the 11 a.m. scrimmage Saturday will be “between 80 and 90 plays,” and will include work on just one aspect of special teams – kickoff returns.
Todd Milles: 253-597-8442