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

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April 2, 2009 12:37 PM

Locker focused on football

Posted by Bob Condotta

A year ago this time, as UW entered spring football, Husky quarterback Jake Locker spent substantial portions of his interviews answering questions about his summer plans to play baseball.

That isn't an issue this year as Locker said his baseball-playing days are done as long as he is a Husky.

"I'm not doing any of that, especially with the new offense,'' Locker said. "I had fun last summer, but football is where I want to go.''

Locker said he actually made that decision last summer when he concluded playing for the Bellingham Bells of the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League.

"Once I was done last summer I decided what I was going to do,'' he said.

And it's not because he didn't have any success on the diamond --- when the season was over, Locker was named the top prospect in the league by Baseball America.

But football, he said, is simply where his heart is now.

And as he said Tuesday, there is also the matter of learning the new offense, a more pro-style attack than UW's offense of the last few years which featured lots of spread and one-back looks, as well.

"It's more geared to one style,'' Locker said. "You are not in the spread and doing those different things. But I think it's a complex offense. It's simple, but there is a lot to it and the way they set it up is nice. You are able to kind of grasp it quick. It makes it easy as possible for everyone involved.''

Locker has been learning the offense in lots of office sessions with the UW coaches.

He also was able to begin throwing a football in earnest about six weeks ago, saying about a month ago he was finally able to do so without any pain in his thumb. He broke the thumb in the fourth game of last season against Stanford and missed the rest of the season.

Tuesday he passed another threshold when the Huskies opened spring practice with a two-hour session in the wind, cold and occasional rain.

"It felt pretty good,'' he said. "It stiffens up a little bit sometimes, but it felt really good today. The ball didn't slip out. I didn't feel like I had a weak grip on the ball. I was able to throw with the same velocity that I had before.''

Locker also said he was able to keep his conditioning throughout, weighing in this week at 225 --- he's officially listed at 222.

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