Locker actually plays for the University of Washington, which is relevant if you care how good he is, not just how good he is supposed to be someday. And this weekend, in one of the more interesting storylines of this college football season, Locker can start to show he deserves the hype.
Frankly, he has not shown it yet. Ask yourself: What are the qualities that usually make NFL teams reach into their pockets and pull out $50 million in small, unmarked bills to give to a quarterback?
Accuracy? Locker completed 58 percent of his passes last year -- pretty good, but not special. Yardage? He threw for 2,800 last year, 33rd in the FBS. Leadership? Locker has yet to post a winning record.
Locker has an unusual combination of size and athleticism -- he is going to amaze people at his workouts. And he might turn into an All-America this year. I'm not saying he
The beautiful thing about college football -- well, one of many beautiful things -- is that we start to get answers right away. Even in this era of watered-down nonconference slates -- teams would count their spring games toward the regular season if they could -- we get a few enticing matchups every weekend. They will have a lasting impact on the season, more so than in any other sport.
So when Washington plays BYU on Saturday, it will be a chance to see if Jake Locker, human being, can start to close the gap with Jake Locker, Most Awesome NFL Draft Prospect Of All Time. He'll follow the BYU game with Syracuse, Nebraska and USC.
A No. 1 overall draft pick keeps his team in those games. A No. 1 overall draft pick elevates his team. That is what
It's not Locker's fault that he has received so much hype, and it won't be a character flaw if he fails to deliver. But it will be interesting to find out how good he really is.
This is not the only enticing storyline of the weekend. When Oregon State plays TCU, the fate of a Heisman candidacy (for Oregon State's extremely watchable
When USC plays Hawaii, we'll find out just how mad
When Pittsburgh plays Utah, we'll find out if Pittsburgh coach
When LSU visits North Carolina, two coaching careers may be on the line.
And of course, when Boise State plays Virginia Tech in Washington, D.C., it will have very real championship implications -- something you just won't get from Ravens-Jets in the NFL's first weekend.
College football has so many flaws, it is easy to overlook its best quality: It gives us a season that is riveting from the opening kickoff. Nothing in sports can match it. Year after year, it actually exceeds the hype. (Let's see if you can, too, Jake.)