Sep 14, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UNLV Rebels running back Bradley Randle (28) is hit by Washington State Cougars safety Casey Locker (22) during the second quarter at Sam Boyd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Stats: 60 Tackles (41 unassisted), 1.5 Tackles for a Loss, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Interception
What he accomplished in 2012: Casey Locker was once again a tackling machine in 2012. His 41 solo tackles were good for 3rd most on the team. Even though he started 10 games and racked up 60 tackles, it seemed that Casey played under the radar for most of the season. This is partly due to playing next to Deone Bucannon but he has become a solid, no nonsense defender for the Cougs.
Known for hard hits like the one in 2011 against Stanford WR Chris Owusu, which knocked Owusu out of the game, Locker didn’t have that one bone jarring highlight in 2012. This was for the best as he was under scrutiny from Pac-12 officials for targeting in 2011. Locker also showed some versatility playing corner a few times in the nickel package.
What I expect in 2013: Locker will have 3 solid seasons under his belt when 2013 starts and will be one of three seniors in the Safety group. With his experience and a full year in Mike Breske’s defense, it is easy to see Casey Locker starting alongside Deone Bucannon when the season starts. However, there will be some younger players trying to crack the starting roster.
Deone’s younger brother RS FR David, a Cal-High Sports First-Team All-Star, sophomore Feddie Davey out of Miami and sophomore Taylor Taliulu who started the first two games of the year, will all be pushing Locker for time. Regardless of who starts, I expect Locker to provide leadership and stability in the defensive backfield leading to a solid senior season in 2013.