Lockette's Stock on The Rise
Ricardo Lockette Jason Miller-US PRESSWIRE
Ricardo Lockette Jason Miller-US PRESSWIRE
PatriotsInsider.com
Posted Apr 29, 2011


Fort Valley State WR Ricardo Lockett hopes he's done enough to improve his Draft stock this weekend. With blazing speed, Lockett has been named by Bill Parcells as one sleeper to keep your eyes on.

If you’re in the market for a speedy wide receiver then one with track experience would help. Ricardo Lockette has all that and more. The talented wideout from Fort Valley State took time out his busy schedule to speak with Patriots Insider on the eve of the Draft.

Lockette isn’t exactly a household name … yet. At least not on a national level, but at his alma mater, the Lockette name is a familiar one. You see, Lockette is the third generation family member to attend Fort Valley State, a school that didn’t even try to recruit him coming out of high school.

“They didn’t try to call me because they thought I was going elsewhere,” said Lockette. “When they found out I was available, they got in touch with me right away.”

Lockette had a number of offers from big time football programs, but his grades let him down. He applied, and was accepted to Auburn, but his grades made him ineligible.  The news that he couldn’t go to the school hit him pretty hard.

“I had a pretty good – great – childhood and I wasn’t used too much disappointment,” said Lockette. “So it was a hard thing for me to get over. “

Passing On A Career In Track

After landing back at Fort Valley State, Lockette continued pursuit of track. I went to the Olympic trials, but never got past that,” he said. “I was 13th in the world sophomore year.” Thirteenth fastest man in track is a talent few people possess. “

“It was my dream of mine to play in the NFL, so it was motivating,” Said Lockette. “Track is secondary to me. I had various professional offers in track, but I turned them down to pursue football.”

Unfortunately a positive test for banned substance derailed his junior season. “It was a GNC mixup, not reading the labels properly, it was a mistake,” he admitted. “I used it as a stepping stone to build on.” Still, Lockette stayed involved with football. “Because I couldn’t help my team on the field I tried to help them vocally. I just helped my teammates, sort of as an assistant coach, or big brother type of thing.”

Dedication is Important

Lockettehas an impressive uild.  Take one look at his Combine or All star photos and you can see he spends a lot of time working out.  The 6-foot-3, 213-pound pass catcher said a healthy lifestyle is important to him, one he constantly works at.

“I’d do pushups while I’m watching TV, during commercials, brushing my teeth,” he noted. “It is more of a lifestyle thing for me.”

His dedication to hard work came in hand during the grueling workout regimen he’s adopted since he began training for the NFL.  Lockette said the training was the hardest part of the process, working out twice a day, studying film and everything that goes along with getting ready to play at the next level.

“(After the workouts) You get massages, but not the nice ones,” Lockette said. “You get the Rambo fist massages, and then you need an ice bath.  You get home and you can’t wait to get to sleep them you wake up and do it all again.”

If you wanted to know one thing about Lockette that you wouldn’t know unless you talked to him is in addition to his dedication to physical improvements, he’s also working on his football knowledge to get any advantage he can. “I’m a quick learner, and I hate losing,” he said. “I just made up my mind that I was going to be great at something.” With that something being football.

 

The Draft Process Can Be Stressful

Joking that he is the type of person who can talk to just about anyone, Lockette says that even his easy-going personality became a little stressed during the grueling pre-draft preparation period.

“It’s really not an excited feeling; it’s about the next step. I’m anxious to get to the next step,” The Georgia native admitted. “The entire thing is stressful, from choosing an agency to right now (after the workouts and visits are done). If anybody tells you differently they’re sugarcoating it. “

Being another player from small schools to be Drafted earlier than expected would be nice, but Lockette – a longshot at the moment -- is just looking to getting settled in wherever it may be.

“I want to get to a team and get settled in -- Hopefully get the lockout done,’ he said. “(The Draft process) is fun at first, but then it starts to wear you down. I totally understand what (people) mean by getting to the next step, because this step right here seems like it’s ongoing.”

Sleeper In Demand

On his Pre-Draft Confidential report for ESPN, former NFL (and Patriots) Coach Bill Parcells called Lockette one of his sleeper picks, a guy to keep an eye on.  Parcells isn’t alone in that mindset, the Fort Valley State product has caught the eye of scouts from around the league.

Lockette has obviously been on teams’ radar with 5 official visits and 14 workouts. Of those workouts, New England’s stood out for him.

“The Patriots had some different techniques, but everyone else was pretty much the same,” Lockette noted. When asked if his workout for New England was similar to ones they’ve put other prospect through (varied to get a look at his reaction to different scenarios other than a basic speed test), he agreed. “Definitely say so, that is accurate.”

The Bengals and Rams have also been keeping tabs on him, inviting the former track star to their facilities for visits.  Atlanta, his local team, has visited with him a number of times and the Miami Dolphins worked him out.

Lockette’s 4.37 40-yard performance at the NFL Combine was tied for best among receivers, and fourth fastest overall.  He has reportedly run a 4,26 in the past. He recorded 22 reps on the bench and has a 39” vertical leap.

If a team needs speed, Lockette has plenty to offer. Considered a longshot in this Draft, at least one NFL Draft expert thinks he has what it takes to succeed. “Lockette has a great attitude and potential which makes him a late round option,” says the official NFL Draft analysis of this potential future star.


For more NFL and Patriots news follow Jon’s updates via Twitter: @jscottNFL


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