Jake Locker walked out onto the Husky Stadium field Monday with a layer of tape wrapped around his left hamstring. Otherwise, he showed few indications of the strain that sidelined him for the previous 11 days. As he bounced around the turf, zigging, zagging and dropping back to throw, he showed no signs of a...
Jake Locker walked out onto the Husky Stadium field Monday with a layer of tape wrapped around his left hamstring. Otherwise, he showed few indications of the strain that sidelined him for the previous 11 days.
As he bounced around the turf, zigging, zagging and dropping back to throw, he showed no signs of a limp and many signs of a recovery the Huskies badly needed. The coaches had seen the same thing this weekend before allowing him to return, just 12 days before Washington opens its season at Oregon.
“That’s what we saw: Jake,” UW coach Tyrone Willingham said. “Jake’s eager, anxious and ready to get involved.”
Locker, like all players, was not made available to the press Monday. Willingham, without getting into specifics, said Locker was limited in practice. He said Locker was not 100 percent, and would not be “for some time.” Locker joins a group of healing starters that includes center Juan Garcia and guard Casey Bulyca that the coaching staff plans to watch carefully during the last two weeks of camp.
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“There’s no question, what we have to do is definitely put limits on him,” Willingham said. “Because he wants to be back, and he wants to be going. We have to be very careful, because he’s what I call an instinctive player. His instincts take over, and he just goes.”
Locker injured his hamstring Aug. 7 on a non-contact play in practice. Redshirt freshman Ronnie Fouch had worked with the first team in his absence, but Locker returned to working with the first team Monday.
Emmert on coach, and AD search
Speaking with Dave Mahler of 950 KJR-AM, Washington president Mark Emmert said there is no concrete number of wins that Tyrone Willingham needs to retain his job after this season.
“What I want to see is what every fan and coach Willingham want to see: I want to see significant improvement in the way they play, along with the improvement we’re seeing off the field,” Emmert said. “We’re just going to let all this work out.
“Ty is a fabulous guy, and I’m fully supportive of him … the fans need to be good Husky fans. They need to say, ‘I’m pulling for him.’ Imagine if he rips off a couple of wins early. It could be a very special year. [But] you support your people. That’s what you have to do.”
Emmert also said he hopes to have the search for an athletic director finished before the school year begins Sept. 24, and that the battle for funding Husky Stadium renovations has remained an uphill battle. He made a case for hotel and restaurant taxes similar to those that have helped fund other Seattle stadiums.
“A Husky football game has a bigger impact on the economy, on the hotels and restaurants, than does a Seahawks game,” he said. “NFL fans don’t travel to games. College fans do. We think it makes some sense to have some of the tax stream to support this project.”
Tom Wyrwich: 206-515-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Times staff reporter Bud Withers contributed to this article.