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Jake Locker Heisman Hype Gets Early Start

We hear all the time about the "it" factor in sports, those players able to captivate as well as entertain, make stories as well as make plays.

There's no question that University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker has "it", his local popularity increases without bound.  Take an on-campus stroll or show up at Husky stadium and there's so many No. 10s it looks like the largest, purplest slam dunk contest judging panel of all time.  

Behind the hype is a multi-talented, big, strong, agile quarterback with leadership abilities, an easy smile and a willingness to put a team on his back.  Add that all up and it's no wonder Locker is making so many Heisman Trophy watch lists.

Todd Miles of the News Tribune writes that Washington is taking full advantage of the media attention Locker is generating, going out of its way to increase his national profile by competing in the high-stakes world of Heisman campaigns.

The Huskies have been on top of it from the start, as Vincent assembled a team to get the Locker promotional blitz rolling.

The team includes Shannon Kelly, the associate athletic director for marketing and strategic programs; Jeff Bechtold, the director of the Huskies' sports information department; and Jeremy Cothran, also from the UW sports-information office, who has been assigned as Locker's personal aide.

The university also hired DNA Seattle, an advertising firm, to utilize Locker in its season-ticket promotions.

Locker has even rolled out an impressive website, which includes this rundown of all of his offseason activities.

Will Washington's "It" QB be able to live up to the hype?  At last one nationale expert thinks so. In an early Heisman Trophy watch list column, ESPN's Ivan Maisel ranks Locker behind only Alabama running back Mark Ingram, ahead of Terrelle Pryor, another star quarterback who has garnered national attention since he stepped foot on campus in Columbus.

Maisel writes...

The NFL loves the quarterback's skills. The Dawg fans just love him. The Heisman voters won't love this senior unless the Huskies return to the winning ways of yore.

SBN Seattle will track Jake Locker's Heisman campaign from start to finish.

For everything Washington Huskies, check out SB Nation's UW Dawg Pound.