Two trips to the East Coast – and to the magic playland of ESPN – took Jake Locker's breath away. Almost literally.
He needed time to recuperate for his final round of one-on-one interviews with the fine South Sound media before the start of fall camp, which opens Sunday (when players report; first day open to public is Monday).
Reporter interviews, and photo shoots took much of Locker's morning and early afternoon Tuesday (rumor has it our photographer asked the quarterback to stand on a ladder for a frame, which he respectfully declined).
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The News Tribune had its time slot, spending 25 minutes with the senior quarterback from Ferndale (who showed up with his dog, "Ten"). He did not seem put out. For the most part, he talked genuinely – with few rehearsed exceptions on subjects such as the Heisman Trophy and other centralizing topics.
A couple of snippets:
• About taking two trips in a month to the East Coast:"It was a lot, definitely. I think the flights (took) more of a toll on me than the actual interview process. It was pretty crazy –different atmosphere, different lifestyle, for sure. But I was really happy to be able to go over there and represent the university here, and our football team and what we're trying to get accomplished here."
• Travel first-class?"I was back in the business class, baby. Aisle seat."
• Having his own 'Jake Locker Day' 10 days ago in Ferndale:"It means everything to me. Growing up there, having the experience I've had there as a young kid, and now in college in going back, it's awesome to go there and have the support I do growing up in that area. It makes it really enjoyable going home – spending time at home – and be in the community because you are so well-accepted, not just because you can play football, but because you didn't stop talking to them once you got to school, or they need you to help them with something or whatever it is. "
Most of the transcript will be included in stories on Locker throughout fall camp.