Jake Locker’s disappointing senior season seems to be a re-run of Sonny Sixkiller’s final year (1972) when the Husky great suffered through an injury-marred season
5 Chris Chandler, 1987: Chandler, who would go on to play 17 seasons in the NFL, threw 20 touchdown passes as a junior in 1986, when he led Washington to a Sun Bowl appearance opposite Alabama. A year later, Chandler threw nine fewer TDs and barely got the Huskies into the Independence Bowl opposite Tulane.
4 Cody Pickett, 2003: Pickett threw 28 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions as a junior in 2002, setting up expectations for a great senior year. But when it came, he regressed to 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The Huskies finished 6-6 and failed to qualify for a bowl.
3 Billy Joe Hobert, 1992: A redshirt sophomore, Hobert quarterbacked the Huskies to a 12-0 record and a share of the national championship in 1991, then didn’t make it through his final year. Caught accepting a $50,000 loan from an Idaho businessman, Hobert was booted off the team. Five years later, the Buffalo Bills released Hobert after he infamously admitted he hadn’t prepared to play a game: he simply failed to read the play book.
2 Sonny Sixkiller, 1972: Sixkiller threw 28 touchdown passes during his sophomore and junior seasons (appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated on Oct. 4, 1971). A grand finale in 1972 didn’t happen as Sixkiller, hampered by injuries, started only seven games and threw just seven touchdown passes against 11 interceptions.
1 Jake Locker, 2010: He began the 2010 season with a realistic chance of winning the Heisman Trophy and ended it not even being a contender, an All-America or an all-conference performer. Injuries played a prominent part. So did the lack of talent surrounding Locker. With expectations for Locker and the Huskies huge, Locker failed to improve as a senior, also undermining his draft status.
Kirsten Kendrick's Q. & A. with Thiel can be heard every Friday during Morning Edition at 5:35am and 7:35am and again that same day on All Things Considered at 4:45pm. It also airs Saturday at 6:35am and 9:35am.