"It was just a month ago when Locker announced his decision to stay in school for his senior year, and just last week he spoke at length about his decision to remain at Washington. But something doesn’t seem right. It’s nothing that Locker said last week that makes me believe he may be wavering on his decision, because he was truthful and honest in his explanation to return to school. But after reading his transcript from last week and making a few calls, I’ve learned from two sources that Locker may not be 100-percent certain about his decision.
"Two weeks ago, I made some calls to a few of my sources and asked around about Locker and his decision to stay in school. Locker had made his announcement prior to Christmas and usually the holiday season is when you’re around family and have some downtime to think. So, since there was no follow up reported on his decision, I decided to ask around. The word I received two weeks ago was that he’s 100-percent satisfied with his decision and that he will return to Washington for his senior year. And last week, he finally spoke to the media at length and came across 100-percent sure of his decision.
"However, on Tuesday, I received a call from one of my sources and he said, "Don’t be surprised if Locker pulls a 180 and decides to enter the draft." When he uttered those words, the immediate response I had was, "Because of Pete Carroll?" You got it.
"The arrival of Carroll in Seattle has a chance to be great, but it all starts with Carroll identifying the Seahawks next franchise quarterback.
"Locker has to be intrigued by the possibility of being drafted by the Seahawks. There are a lot of positives with the Seahawks that favor Locker, besides the fact that he will be able to play in front of his family and friends on a consistent basis. Locker’s head coach at Washington is Steve Sarkisian, who spent four years under Carroll at USC as quarterbacks coach (2001 – 2003; 2005 – 2006) and offensive coordinator (2007 – 2008). Carroll has had great success with quarterbacks at the collegiate level using the offense that Sarkisian ran this past year with Washington; an offense that allowed Locker to generate career highs in completion percentage (58.2), passing yards (2,800) and touchdown passes (21), as well as a career low 11 interceptions.
"As the deadline approaches, I’m reminded of these words Locker said last week, "I want to make a decision that I'm not going to regret 30 years from now. I want to make a decision that I'm going to be able to live with because it's a big decision. If you make the wrong one, it will really wear on you."
"I always encourage student athletes to stay in school, not only to improve their craft in an athletic endeavor, but to receive their diploma from the university they attend. But in Locker’s case, this is a special circumstance where in a year - not 30 years – from now, he will regret not taking advantage of it. Locker said last week that he didn’t care about the money and that money wouldn’t drive him to the NFL. But there’s an opportunity for him to end up in a situation with Carroll and the Seahawks that’s just as comfortable as the situation he’s had with Sarkisian and the Huskies.
"The clock’s ticking Jake, don’t waste this opportunity." - Chris Steuber, Scout.com
Surely this won't happen? Even if Pete Carroll's arrival in Seattle has pricked his ears, there's no guarantee he'd land with the Seahawks. St. Louis own the first overall pick - he could end up in a situation where not only is he not in Seattle, he's trying to revive the sinking fortunes of a division rival. Of course, the plus side of that would be - he's the first overall pick and millions better off.
It's speculation to end all speculation. By Saturday, we'll know if there was any substance to it.
UPDATE: Mike Florio at PFT claims that discussions between the NFLPA and the league are in place to try and enforce a rookie pay scale for this year's draft. Commissioner Roger Goodell previously said no cap would be in place until 2011 at the earliest. Even if these reports are proven false or a pay scale fails to materialise this year, the potential talks only increase the likelihood that something will happen for 2011. If that is the case, one or two prospects might be having last minute jitters over their decision to stay in school.