NFL: Jake Locker
Using the term all-American is an appropriate term for Northwest native Jake Locker.
Born in Ferndale, WA locker became a local sports sensation in high school earning 3A Washington State Player of the Year in both baseball and football state champions for Ferndale High School.
Weight: 231 lbs
Birthdate: June 15, 1988
Birthplace: Ferndale, Washington
While he followed in the athletic tradition of his family, the thought of becoming a pro athlete came early as he was drafted by the LA Angels as a pitcher in the 46th Round while still in high school.
Despite this opportunity and the family ties to Western Washington University in Bellingham, Jake decided to attend the University of Washington and would become a household name across the state in his freshman year as he became the starting quarterback in the pack-10.
Not only did he succeed he broke PAC-10 records for quarterback rushing yards (987) and longest passing play with a 98 yard completion.
He slso became the 19th player in NCAA to join the 100/300 club, with 100+ rushing yards and 300+ passing yards in a single game.
Ultimately he was named the PAC-10 Freshman of the year and received similar awards from jut about everyone that was paying attention.
In 2008 Locker missed the football season with a thumb injury and incidentally the Huskies went 0-12. However he did have an opportunity to keep up his baseball skills by playing for the Bellingham Bells as a center fielder showing rare fivefold skills.
It was no surprise that in 2009 the scouts convinced the Angles to draft Locker for a second time. This time it came in the 10th round (321 overall) as well as a $250,000 signing bonus.
Locker signed a contract that gave the Angels rights to the kid until 2015 if he would decided to pursue a baseball career.
In 2009 Locker broke out. If he was impressive before, now he was legendary.
He ended the season as the Seattle male sports star of the year, the UW’s most prestigious sports award and a sure spot in the first round 2010 NFL draft.
His playing style was different and he genuinely showed that he was a double threat quarterback.
But he surprised the sports community in his announcement that he wanted to finish his education first. Of course the Huskies weren’t complaining.
2010, however showed a bit of the humanity of the college superstar and experts that had been projecting Locker as the #1 pick by the end of the season doubted he would even be selected in the first round.
With these predictions and the NFL lockout in full swing many wondered if locker would indeed choose to pursue a baseball career after all, but Locker was drafted in 2011 #8 in the first round to the Tennessee Titans.
At first he was expected to be the starter for the struggling team, but ironically he would play back up to his long time hero and Seattle sports legend, Matt Hasslebeck.
That is a lot to be proud of as a young man, he has a of achievements and awards, but he looked the happiest on July, 28 2011 when he married his college sweetheart Lauren.
As northwest natives we wish Jake well and only wish he were still a part of the local teams we cheer on.
Maybe some day.