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
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
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
touch with me right away.”
Lockette had a number of offers from
big time football
programs, but his grades let him down.
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
Passing On A
After landing back at Fort Valley State, Lockette continued pursuit of
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
people possess. “
“It was my dream of mine to play in
the NFL, so it was
motivating,” Said Lockette. “Track
secondary to me. I
professional offers in track, but I turned them down to pursue
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
I couldn’t help my team on the field
I tried to help them vocally. I
helped my teammates, sort of as an assistant coach, or big brother type
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
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
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
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
physical improvements, he’s also working on his football knowledge to
advantage he can. “I’m
a quick learner,
and I hate losing,” he said. “I just made up my mind that I was going
great at something.” With that something being football.
Joking that he is the type of person
who can talk to just
about anyone, Lockette says that even his easy-going personality became
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,
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
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
starts to wear you down. I
understand what (people) mean by getting to the next step, because this
right here seems like it’s ongoing.”
On his Pre-Draft Confidential report
for ESPN, former NFL (and
Patriots) Coach Bill Parcells called Lockette one of his sleeper picks,
to keep an eye on. Parcells
in that mindset, the Fort Valley State product has caught the eye of
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
“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
put other prospect through (varied to get a look at his reaction to
scenarios other than a basic speed test), he agreed. “Definitely say
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
great attitude and potential which makes him a late round option,” says
official NFL Draft analysis of this potential future star.
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