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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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August 8, 2008 5:07 PM

Husky nightcap, day five

Posted by Bob Condotta

A recap of the day that was on Montlake:

THE BIG STORY --- In case you haven't heard, it was revealed today that Jake Locker suffered a strained left hamstring in practice on Thursday. Here's our latest report with the details.

While there is still some vagueness to this, especially with the MRI results still not in, all indications are that this is probably a fairly minor deal. One source said there is growing relief due in part because the injury is apparently one in which there is a relatively small risk of re-injury (not being a doctor and all, I can't really explain it better than that, but that's what I was told). So the thought is apparently that once it heals, Locker will be good to go instead of it potentially turning into a lingering thing.

As the story indicates, UW coach Tyrone Willingham didn't seem to think Locker will be out long. The biggest issue of this may mostly be whether Locker misses enough practices that it impacts the preparation for Oregon, Obviously with a lot of young skill players, the more practice the better. As Willingham said, you wouldn't practice at all if practice didn't matter, so obviously it's not optimum missing any this time of year. But if he's back in a few days, this may be much ado about nothing.

We will hopefully have a more definitive picture tomorrow as Willingham may announce the results of the MRI when he meets the press at 11:15 a.m.

You can watch the press conference yourself here.

PRACTICE REPORT --- With the news about the Nike deal breaking, I didn't get to the practice report, so I'll just put it here.

The team practice in split squads again today, going in full pads.

The media got to see the first 25 minutes of the practice featuring what was mostly the deep reserves with a few starters sprinkled in, apparently to help teach the young players. Josh Gage was with the linebackers, for instance, and Brandon Johnson the running backs.

After warmups, the practice featured about 10 minutes of a live two-minute drill.

Luther Leonard quarterbacked one team and walk-on Justin Gunn the other.

Leonard's first drive ended on the second play in an interception by Tripper Johnson on a pass that fluttered when Leonard's arm appeared to be hit as he threw the ball. For Johnson, it likely brought back his baseball days as he pretty much just settled under a pop fly and caught it. The first play was a short completion to Cody Bruns.

Gunn QB'd the second drive and hit Chancellor Young with two quick completions on short and intermediate routes, though coaches got on Young for not getting out of bounds and stopping the clock. Gunn then hit RB Willie Griffin on a short pass over the middle. With the clock running out, Gunn then threw incomplete deep to walk-on WR Vicente Cordova to end the drive.

Leonard came back and hit Jermaine Kearse for about 20 yards or so on the first play of the next drive. Gunn was then sacked by Trenton Tuiasosopo, and then on the next play by Nick Wood. His next pass was batted down at the line, indicating that Leonard may need to work on raising his release point a bit (it was either Wood or Kalani Aldrich who got the deflection). The drive then ended with a deep overthrow of an open Bruns down the sideline.

The drill ended there, as did the media's time to watch practice.

SEEN AND HEARD --- Among the visitors at practice today was former Husky head coach Jim Lambright.

QUOTABLE --- "Warren Sapp,'' Johnie Kirton when giving his name while checking in for lunch.

UP NEXT --- UW will hold two practices today, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, In between the team will hold its annual Picture Day from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Details on that are here.

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August 8, 2008 3:54 PM

More on Nike deal

Posted by Bob Condotta

UW acting athletic director Scott Woodward said today that while he knows some Husky fans aren't thrilled with the prospect of the school doing business with a company widely associated with one of the team's greatest rivals, it's ultimately the best move for the school to renew its association with NIKE.

"The last I saw, the fans and citizens of Oregon fly on Boeing planes, they shop at Costco, and they buy Windows and Microsoft products,'' Woodward said, referring to three iconic Seattle-area companies.

Woodward said the deal offered by NIKE was simply too good to pass up as UW agreed to a new footwear, apparel and equipment contract with the company worth $39 million over 10 years. UW's previous five-year deal with NIKE was worth roughly $1.3 million a year.

UW's deal with NIKE was due to run out next July 1. UW recently sent out requests for proposals for new contracts and Woodward said NIKE exercised its right of first refusal. The two sides then came to an agreement for a new contract that Woodward said is a big step in the right direction for the school.

"It puts us up with the elite BCS schools and we are very happy to be there because I think that's our rightful place,'' he said. "It's not the top of the top in the elite, but obviously three times better (than the previous deal) is significant.''

Woodward said UW will still have "sole discretion'' for designing its uniforms, though he said there are no current discussions about doing anything with the football helmets and uniforms. He said there has been a gradual phasing-out of the Dawg logo and that that will likely continue, with the block W taking over as the school's main mark.

Woodward said UW coaches were in favor of the deal.

Nine of the 10 Pac-10 schools have deals with NIKE. The lone exception is UCLA which is with Adidas.

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August 8, 2008 3:06 PM

Huskies re-up with Nike

Posted by Bob Condotta

The Huskies have just announced a new contract with NIKE for the company to be the team's exclusive footward, apparel and equipment provider.

The new deal is worth approximately $39 million over 10 years and becomes effective July 1, 2009. That is worth three times more than the previous deal UW had with NIKE.

Here's the official release from

UW acting AD Scott Woodward is scheduled to address the media shortly.

There had been rumors UW was considering other compaines with the contract with Nike due to run out next year but the Huskies ultimately decided to stick with NIKE. UW has had contracts with the company since 1997.

The new deal runs through June 30, 2019.

As detailed in this post last month, UW received approximately $1.3 million a year in cash and product under its old agreement. It now will get a guaranteed $3.5 million a year with incentives pushing it to $3.9 million per year.

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August 8, 2008 1:43 PM

Locker story updated

Posted by Bob Condotta

Here's our updated story on the Jake Locker injury.

I'll let you read that for the details.

A quick take is that this still seems a little hard-to-read. The MRI isn't in yet, so there isn't any conclusive word on severity of the injury. And hamstrings are notoriously tricky anyway. They are not just a play-through-pain kind of thing.

A Locker injury of any kind is undoubtedly the worst fear of this program right now, so despite the efforts of all involved here today, I don't know how this can really be spun as a good thing in anyway. There may be no player more valuable to his team in all of college football.

On the other hand, UW coach Tyrone Willingham said he thought Locker would be able to play against Oregon, so the bigger question may be how much will he be impacted by missing practice, especially with trying to get timing down with all of those young receivers.

So for now, we reallly just have to wait-and-see.

As for a few other notes:

--- Willingham said OG Scott Shugert missed the last two days with a stomach illness. Shugert was back in the lunch room today.

--- CB Anthony Gobern is in red and while Willingham didn't specify the nature of the injury, Gobern was wearing tape on his knee.

--- UW is scheduled to holds its first full pads practice this afternoon.

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August 8, 2008 11:53 AM

Locker update

Posted by Bob Condotta

Washington quarterback Jake Locker suffered what UW coach Tyrone Willingham called today a left hamstring strain during practice on Thursday.

Locker had an MRI this morning but the results are not back yet.

Willingham said he could not guess how long Locker could be out until the results of the MRI are back, calling his status ''day-to-day'' at the moment.

"The degree we don’t know,'' he said. “We’ll be monitoring it as we go. Our thought process it to be very cautious and move forward day-to-day.’’

A visibly downcast Locker said he was injured while turning upfield to run a read option play and was not touched.

"I just kept a read zone and was running around the outside and went to turn up and just couldn't do what I normally do,'' he said. “It’s just a little bit sore. Nothing too bad.’’

Locker said he didn’t go down on the play, just took “a little hop and a skip.’’

Without Locker, redshirt freshman Ronnie Fouch will take over as the No. 1 QB in practice. The only other scholarship QB is true freshman Luther Leonard. Walk-on Taylor Bean, a redshirt freshman, is also battling for the No. 3 position.

No other QB on the roster has taken a snap in a game besides Locker, who last year rushed for 986 yards and threw for 2,062 and 14 touchdowns.

The Huskies open the season on Aug. 30 at Oregon, and it’s a season that looms as make-or-break for Willingham, who is 11-25 in three seasons at UW.

That game starts a brutal stretch for the Huskies, who then host BYU and Oklahoma.

Locker walked into an interview room with a wrap on his left hamstring and limping a little bit.

Willingham called Locker “a fast healer’’ in saying why he thinks Locker will be able to play against Oregon.
Locker said he would not guess at his prognosis.

“I’ll just leave it up to the trainers,’’ he said. “We all trust those guys. They will do what’s best for me to get back as fast as possible without risking injury again.’’

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August 8, 2008 10:37 AM

Locker injury?

Posted by Bob Condotta

Well even Softy (from KJR-AM is talking about the rumor making the rounds that Jake Locker may have suffered some sort of hamstring injury in practice yesterday.

So just making a quick post here that we won't know anything official until Tyrone Willingham meets with the media, which is expected to happen at noon today, though that can sometimes be a moving target. But keep tuning in and we'll update as we get info.

UPDATE --- Softy is reporting an MRI taken after practice showed no major damage and he might be out 3-5 days or so.

UPDATE 12:15 p.m. --- Just a quick note to pass along that we are still waiting for word from both Locker and Willingham.

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August 8, 2008 9:02 AM

Friday links

Posted by Bob Condotta

Olympic edition. ...

--- For my main story today, I wrote about the suddenly crowded tailback position. UW hasn't had this many tailbacks, who all have some pretty good credentials, in years, and it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

--- Rob Moseley of the Eugene Register-Guard reports that Oregon is doing the split-squad practice thing as well. It's something I'd never seen at UW until Tyrone Willingham got here and now I notice lots of teams doing it --- I read something about WSU doing it the other day, as well. But I think it's also a reaction to the inability to go two-a-days on consecutive days anymore, a rule put in place a few years ago.

--- Marques Tuiasosopo will be the third QB in the game for the Raiders tonight against the 49ers.

--- Here's an update on Louis Rankin from the Stockton Record.

--- Here's an interview with Roy Lewis from SteelCityInsider revealing that he is also playing some safety for Pittsburgh. (Lewis' interview is the third one down).

--- Dane Looker is again fighting for his job with the Rams. That he's still in the NFL at age 32 is really something.

--- Ted Miller does his usual stellar job covering all the Pac-10 bases.

All for now.

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