By Scott M. Johnson Herald Writer
@Normal:SEATTLE — Jake Locker unleashed his inner Tim Tebow on Friday afternoon.
The vocal leadership part, anyway; not the squeaky-clean language.
In so many words, Locker undressed his offense during Friday’s football practice at the University of Washington. The junior quarterback’s tirade could be heard throughout the stadium and, more important, it got the desired result.
“Today was obviously a time when I felt like we needed it,” Locker said Friday, after scoring on a long touchdown run and celebrating with his teammates near the end zone. “The guys obviously responded well. We came out and scored a touchdown on the next drive. It’s always nice when you’re able to fire guys up and they respond.”
Earlier in the session, Locker’s interaction with his teammates was at the other end of the emotional spectrum. After one sequence that saw six plays get whistled dead for sacks, Locker took off his helmet and told his fellow offensive players that they needed to get their, um, stuff together.
Locker has typically been the more quiet, lead-by-example type, so his Friday outburst seemed a bit out of character.
“I feel like I have the credibility to do it,” Locker said. “I’m in a position where it’s my responsibility.”
Head coach Steve Sarkisian liked to see Locker’s passion but wasn’t completely satisfied by the timing of the outburst.
“I think the challenge with Jake is to show that fire all the time, not just when things aren’t going well,” he said Friday afternoon.
Locker said that he had no regrets after letting his emotions out. He’s trying to be more vocal, and Friday showed that he can rise to the occasion.
“I’ve always tried to lead by example,” he said. “I haven’t always been the most vocal, but I’ll probably be a little bit more than I have in the past, just because I’m a little bit older now. I’ve only got a couple more years to win some games here.”
Cornerback Justin Glenn, a redshirt freshman from Mukilteo, was one of two projected starters who missed all or part of Friday’s practice.
Glenn suffered a hip flexor early in the session and watched most of the practice from the sidelines. Fullback Paul Homer (hamstring) was also out of action.
Friday marked the first time that the Huskies have donned full pads, but the team generally came out OK health-wise.
“We had a good day,” Sarkisian said. “Nothing severe. I’m sure we got some nicks. Sometimes when you get in pads, some of those bumps and bruises don’t rise up until later. So we’ll find out (Saturday) morning.”
Twice the work
The Huskies will begin two-a-day session today.
The first practice is at 9 a.m., when the Huskies will take part in a short session. UW will return to the field at 7 p.m. for a longer practice.
Sarkisian said the reason for the late practice was to get the players used to playing under the lights, especially with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff scheduled for the Sept. 5 opener against LSU.
Sarkisian said that the final word came down on junior college transfer Dominique Gaisie, who has been ruled ineligible. The junior cornerback could not get cleared academically and thus will not be able to play in 2009. … Tight end Kavario Middleton, who missed a practice earlier this week due to a personal issue, has been back on the field since Thursday. … Sarkisian said he still has confidence in kicker Erik Folk despite a couple of missed field-goal attempts at Friday’s practice. The coach blamed the snap and hold for the sudden kicking problems.