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Three-point stance: Locker the defender?

1.Washington quarterback Jake Locker may be the odds-on favorite to be the first player selected in the 2011 NFL draft. But in the course of discussing playing both quarterback and safety at Ferndale (Wash.) High, Locker told me, “If I had it to do over again, I’d play defense. I like the contact. You can use your adrenaline. On offense, you have to control it.”

2.USC quarterback Matt Barkley, on the other hand, has no interest in an athletic mulligan. Barkley’s dad, Les, played water polo for the Trojans from 1976-79. Matt played water polo, pretty much at his dad’s insistence, as a kid in Orange County. His career, he said, lasted “about a week. That sport is brutal.” Matt said that if he ever complains about a hit he took, his father pretty much laughs.

3.The agents sniff around the college players in order to get a cut of their NFL contracts. It stands to reason that if the NFL and the NFL Players Association negotiate a rookie salary cap, as predicted, and the huge sums of money that now go to unproven first-round picks are redistributed to veterans, then the agents may lessen their ardor for college players. The NFL may take care of this problem yet.