Proven or Unproven, Part 10: Sarkisian Has the Key to the Huskies' "Locker"

Kristian SiutaCorrespondent IIJuly 22, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 6:  Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies runs with the ball during their game against the BYU Cougars on September 6, 2008 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Cougars defeated the Huskies 28-27. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The scenery in Seattle will be slightly different than in years past. Washington’s fans have a sense of hope and renewed faith in their beloved Huskies. What is the reason for that?

Coming off of a winless season, the only place to go is up.

There is a new revived sense of energy and progress for the Huskies. Former USC offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian, took over control of the Huskies due to the subpar results displayed during the Tyrone Willingham era in Seattle. 

A new sense of determination and hard work has been instilled into the Husky players by the new regime under Sarkisian and new defensive coordinator Nick Holt. 

With a new coaching staff being ushered in, the one constant will be team leadership. In Seattle, leadership on the offensive side of the football starts with junior quarterback Jake Locker. 

Even back to the days when Locker led Ferndale High School (WA) to a 37-4 record as a starter, coaches across the country knew that Locker had the ability to be a great athlete and lead their team to a championship.

However, in Jake Locker’s two seasons as the Huskies starter, the production has been evident, but the team's results have not lived up to the Washington fans' expectations.

Locker’s numbers have been amazing at Washington, and he has not even played two full seasons in the Pac-10. Locker has passed for 2,574 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Although Locker’s numbers with his arm are impressive, his numbers utilizing his legs are even more imposing. Locker rushed for 1,166 yards and 16 touchdowns in 16 games.

During his breakout red-shirt freshman season in 2007, Locker, by himself, averaged 254 yards of total offense. As a freshman, he was one of the top quarterbacks in the Pac-10.

So, what can we expect from the University of Washington this season at quarterback?  First off, Locker is the man under center, and right off the bat, the Huskies will improve their performance output from a year ago.

Sarkisian will implement his style of offense for Locker and the Huskies, however, in order to perfect "Sark's" system, the junior quarterback will be studying all day, everyday.

My only hope is that Sarkisian keeps some of the spread formations in order to utilize  Locker’s uncanny ability to make what should be a two-yard gain into a 25-yard touchdown.

God knows Husky fans have been waiting nearly a year to hear, “Jake Locker with the touchdown! Touchdown Huskies!”