Tag Archives: 2011 NFL Draft

Jake Speaks About NFL Opportunity, Titans

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In case you missed it, here is a transcript of Jake’s introduction press conference on Friday, his first appearance as the newest addition of the Tennessee Titans. Jake boarded a red-eye flight to get out to Tennessee for the press conference, only to return to Washington later that day.

And, here is an interview with ESPN Radio where he admitted he was even a little surprised that he was chosen so soon by Tennessee.

“I knew there was some interest,” Jake said of the Titans. “I just didn’t know there was enough to take me with that number eight pick.”

He went on to say that he is excited for the challenge of playing professional football and that he is looking forward to earning the trust of his coaches and teammates.

Tennessee Takes Jake at #8

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While there was some uncertainty where Jake was going to be selected in the 2011 NFL Draft, it didn’t take long to get the answer many have tried to ‘mock’ up the last few months.

In what appears to be a perfect fit for Jake, the Tennessee Titans selected him with the 8th pick–the second quarterback taken in the draft (Auburn Q.B. Cam Newton was taken #1 by Carolina). Less than an hour in, the dream of becoming an NFL Quarterback became realized and instantly he became the face of a Pro Football franchise.

For Jake, he has always insisted he never had doubts that his decision to come back for his senior season would impact him in his draft standing and that his confidence has never wavered. Those feelings were validated quickly by a team that is known to have valued his leadership qualities and competitive nature.

“I know what I’m capable of and I always have. I’ll believe in that forever, no matter what anybody says. And I think that’s what Tennessee sees in me,” Jake said at his news conference from the Ferndale High gym.

“I never had the doubts other people had. I knew what I was capable of and was confident in myself. So to be able to see somebody else have that same confidence means a lot to you. It’s a dream come true. It’s something I’ve thought about since I was a young kid and now to live it out, it’s rewarding.”

Jake will be taking a red-eye flight to Tennessee to be a part of a news conference in Nashville on Friday. And after all the interviews and questions over the last few months, this media event will surely be the sweetest one of all.

Commentary: Jake Awaits Imminent Culmination of Football Dream

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It has been 5 long collegiate seasons leading up to this moment, a stint that saw 2 different head coaches, ambitious schedules against stiff opponents and various physical setbacks. The road undoubtedly hasn’t been easy, and for Jake’s last 5 years it never went as scripted, either. The years of his college career was a roller coaster ride of highs and lows, an exhibit of perseverance, faith and character.

That ride ended the way it should have: on a Holiday Bowl high note. The loyal Senior deserved to taste the peak of success, and it was fitting that he was able to experience an impressive winning streak at the end of his last season along with sweet redemption in the biggest game of his college career. The storybook ending was tailor made for the determined leader who never waned in his approach or in his confidence.

Since that brisk December evening in San Diego, Jake has been front and center in every sports publication across the nation and a topic of every pundit and proclaimed expert from print, radio and t.v. There have been special articles worthy of a clip and save as well as t.v. productions that have provided a glimpse of who Jake Locker the person really is. Without question, Jake has been one of the most talked about pro prospects over the last 4 months. 

From the Senior Bowl to the Combine and from his Pro-day to a myriad of individual team workouts, there have been countless interviews, evaluations and auditions. All of it has been a journey to today, the start of the 2011 NFL Draft. As most people would have wilted under such a glaring light, Jake has embraced it with the same appreciative and positive attitude that has carried him throughout the last half-decade.

“It’s been fun, a dream come true and an opportunity. I’m lucky I get to experience it,” Jake has simply stated.

The over-analyzed portions of draft previews are soon to be just a memory and the dream of becoming a professional quarterback in the NFL will start to come into focus–a realization that could be as soon as tonight if he is taken in the first round. Regardless of what happens during the draft one thing is for sure: the winding path to today has brought a great opportunity, a well deserved and promising new beginning of what will likely be a bright NFL future.

Jake To Be Part of ESPN’s ‘E:60′ Show Tuesday

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As the final stage of Jake’s progression from college football to the pros will come to a close on Thursday night during the NFL Draft, there will be a little more attention on him beforehand as he will be featured on ESPN’s in depth show ‘E:60′ tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. P.S.T.  The show will focus on Jake’s decision to forego entering the 2010 NFL draft and his level of commitment inside and outside of football. Here is a clip of the program:

Following the hour long program, the second part of ESPN’s series “Three For the Show” will air at 5 p.m. P.S.T. The 3 part documentary follows Jake (along with Tyrod Taylor and Cam Newton) from 2010′s preseason through February’s combine as he makes the transition to a career in pro football. The show features behind the scenes footage along with interviews from coaches, family and Jake himself.

Jake Featured on Cover of ESPN the Magazine

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Jake will be featured on the cover of ESPN’s magazine as a part of their continued NFL Draft Preview, and a column written by Seth Wickersham about Jake’s journey to the draft and his prospects on draft day will be the lead article.

The story details the subjective activity of quarterback evaluating and goes in depth to what some scouts and professionals decipher when studying one of Jake’s best games last year, an overtime victory thriller against Oregon State.

The interesting piece can already be can be found here on ESPN’s website.

Jake and the NFL Network

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Jake visited the NFL Network set this week as part of their “Path to the Draft” series, was interviewed for the blog, and was a guest analyst on the league’s 24-hour t.v. channel.

Jake is also a part of the “Everything to Prove” series featured on NFL.com, a series that follows the transition of 14 collegiate players to the pro game. The 1st program can be found here, and the 2nd program can be found here.

#10′s Top-10 Offseason Moments of 2010

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As the first fall practice of the 2010 season is only a week away, we thought we would wrap up a busy offseason for Jake–an offseason filled with honors, predictions, and promotions. And, even though there hasn’t been any field action in the last 7 1/2 months–outside of the Spring Game and practices–there hasn’t been a shortage of Husky Football news and/or Jake news specifically.

If we missed anything, please feel free to comment on your favorite off-season moment. And, if you missed any of the great moments of the year so far, you can catch up below.

10. The “Year of Jake” jake-locker-new-york-trip

Although the Huskies are largely unknown after some disappointing seasons and being tucked away in the Northwest, the media started focusing on Jake once he decided to play his senior season. Bruce Feldman of ESPN posted an article titled “The Year of Jake Locker“, an interview with Jake’s dad, Scott, and Jake himself. It is an insider piece but one quote particularly of interest was regarding his love for football and baseball:

“I love playing football,” said the younger Locker. “That’s why I chose playing football out of high school. I have a passion for playing this game. It’s what I want to be doing. That’s where my focus is. I’ve said that ever since I got out of high school and that hasn’t changed. I want to play football. That is my goal. But I also told them {Angels} that if it doesn’t work out, I’d rather play a sport for a living than do something else. I would definitely give baseball a shot at that point.”

There were a couple of other interviews to check out, a q&a with Jake on fanhouse.com as well as a solid interview with Paul Silvi in May that touches on many different topics. Jim Moore is also part of the interview to provide the comic relief and dog angle….his favorite subject.

Jake and his offensive trio also were highlighted as the “top offensive trio” in College Football by Rivals.com, a lofty yet worthy praise….

locker-baseball-jersey19. Mariner For a Day 

Jake may be under contract with the Angels, but on July 10th he was able to wear the jersey of the hometown team and throw out the first pitch. And, while he couldn’t be convinced to assist the Mariners for the duration of the game, he did toss an effortless heater from the mound.

8. The Accolades

Well, it may cause some to pause, but being selected to the Playboy All American Team is quite an accomplishment as it a prestigious honor that is in its 54th year. Additionally, Jake was put on the Unitas and Davey O’Brien Award watch lists, two awards that are handed out at the end of the college football season and given to the Quarterback who displays the best on and off the field performance.

7. Seattle Male Sports Star of the Year jake-sportsstar1

In January, Jake was presented with Seattle’s “Male Sports Star of the Year” Award, an honor handed out by the Seattle Sports Commission at an event that was celebrating its 75th year. Jake had the opportunity to briefly speak in front of a room full of local sports celebrities, executives, and writers after accepting the award. 

6. A Football-Only Summer

When Jake signed the contract with the Angels, there was a lot of speculation and a lot of question marks to how it will fit in with a busy football schedule. But, when Jake quietly announced in late May that he would focus on football exclusively over the summer, it rang loud and clear to the ears of Husky fans.

locker-luck-foles-barkley1 5. East Coast Car Wash Part 2

In an effort to increase the exposure of Pac-10 football to the East Coast audience, Jake teamed up with fellow conference quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Nick Foles, and Matt Barkley. During this whirlwind trip–the second for Jake within a month–he was on ESPN’s Sportscenter and College Football Live, and the Mike & Mike and Scott Van Pelt radio shows. As part of the College Football Live show he was interviewed with the group, and also competed in some unique skill competitions against his friendly quarterback foes. A full link of media for the trip to ESPN can be found here on GoHuskies.com.

4a. UW’s Non-Heisman Heisman Promo

In early May, the University of Washington sent out a comp. card to a variety of sports media and personalities with Jake’s picture on the front, accompanied with quotes of his abilities from the likes of Pete Carroll, Jim Harbaugh and others. On the back side it lists his measurables, stats and various accomplishments. From what has been inferred, this is just the start to a what the University will produce in an effort to up the exposure on Jake & the Heisman Trophy pursuit.

4b. The Grassroots Heisman Pushjl_front

There is a fan who created a Jake Locker for Heisman Twitter Account, a “Jake Locker For Heisman 2010″ Facebook page that is rapidly approaching 6,000 followers, and also a short intro hosted on Jake4Heisman.com that forwards to this website–sites that will change as the season begins. Outside of the University’s future Heisman campaign, the fans are doing their part.

3. East Coast Car Wash Part I

In late June, Jake traveled to the Big Apple and also the campus at ESPN to do a 2 day media blitz. As part of the tour, Jake met with Sports Illustrated and went through ESPN’s “Car Wash”, a media smorgasbord that included appearances on ESPN2′s First Take, ESPN’s Sportscenter, College Football Live, and even a live chat on ESPN.com.

The 2 day tour was not only a great way to introduce Jake to the East Coast, but it also allowed everyone at Sports Illustrated and ESPN to get to know him. After his visit, Ted Miller from ESPN blogged about his visit, Bruce Feldman wrote about Jake’s “big year”, and Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel addressed Jake’s chances at the Heisman Trophy. Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times also posted a great summary of Jake’s trip to the big apple.

jake-4-heisman-rite-aid-sign2. Happy ‘Jake Locker Day’

Ferndale is a small town in the far northern parts of the State of Washington. But, what the small town lacks for in size they make up for in heart…and on July 24th, all their hearts were with the city’s pride and joy, Jake Locker. Mayor Jensen declared that day “Jake Locker Day”, which also happened to be the annual “Old Settlers” Weekend. And, as seen on the left, even the local Rite Aid took an opportunity to welcome Jake back home.

 As part of the festivities, Jake and some teammates rode in the parade and was able to enjoy the yearly celebration with friends and family. There is a great wrap up here, complete with a photo gallery.

1. “I’m Staying”

There were 2 words that Husky fans had been lobbying to hear, and on December 14th they got the news that all was well in their Husky world: Jake was staying for his senior year at the University of Washington.

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times was one of the first guys as the scene, and reported the news on his Husky blog soon after Jake’s nonchalant announcement to coach Steve Sarkisian. There were opinions on his decision far and wide, yet throughout all the scrutiny for passing up on a potential #1 selection and guaranteed millions, Jake held firm to his commitment to the coaches and the Husky faithful.

After the dust settled, there were many well written pieces about how & why Jake came to his decision. Ted Miller of ESPN talked about Jake’s priorities, The New York Times came out in spring and posted this article on Jake, and Miller posted this interview with Jake  during the NFL draft.

After the NFL draft was complete, it appeared Jake’s decision was a good one. Quickly the attention turned to the 2011 NFL draft, and Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated wrote about Jake’s current team focus and that once Jake gets through the upcoming season, he will still be a top selection in that draft. Mel Kiper, NFL draft guru for ESPN, echoed that Jake’s draft status will not change from ’10 to ’11.

“If you had to ask me right now who is going to be the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft, I would say it’s etched in stone it’s going to be Jake Locker,” Kiper said on April 7th. “You can make that down. Jake Locker, if he’s not the No. 1 pick, it’s an upset.”

The 2010 Spring Game & National Buzz

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The Spring Game is here, a ‘Friday Night Lights’ event that will start at 6:30 at Husky Stadium. Don’t miss Jake’s last Spring Game in a Husky uniform! And, from the sounds of things, the event will have a lot of activities. jake-heisman-postcard

On Monday, Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated has an in-depth feature about Jake’s decision to return to Washington for his Senior year, as well as how it may translate into team success in 2010 and his draft position in 2011.

Also on Monday, the University sent out a ton of postcards to potential Heisman voters to get them thinking about Jake in the 2010 race. Ironically though, there is no mention of “Heisman” on the postcard.

Ted Miller, Blogger for ESPN.com, posted an interview with Jake last Friday. He then wrote a story a few days ago that talks about Jake’s 2011 draft stock.

Bob Condotta also posted a story for Seattle Times.com that details Jake’s decision to stay in school might have been the best choice after all. Last Friday also marked a new video release of Jake Highlights, created by the University’s Athletic Department. And, to start the busy day, Jake appeared on the ‘First Take’ show on ESPN2 via phone.

And in case you missed it, the NY Times kicked off the coverage with a great feature on Jake.