Stoops, Locketts go way back

By Joel Jellison

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops remembers the playmaker Kevin Lockett was during his time at Kansas State. So it came as no surprise to him that Tyler Lockett both landed at K-State and became a playmaker himself for the Wildcats.

The Lockett family was a topic of conversation during Monday’s Big 12 coach’s teleconference, as Stoops reminisced and K-State coach Bill Snyder answered an important question.

Is there another Lockett in the future?

“Unfortunately I think, right now anyway, we’re at the bottom of the list,” Snyder joked. “It will be awhile yet.”

While another Lockett might not be in the near future, Snyder talked about the process of signing Tyler, and whether it was as easy as it might have seemed to some outsiders.

In 2000, John Lockett, Kevin and Aaron’s father, told the Tulsa World regarding a then 8-year-old Tyler, “as far as I’m concerned, he’s already committed to Kansas State.”

Snyder said it wasn’t so simple when he actually committed.

“I don’t know that that’s the case, there were some other priorities aside from football that were really significant in Tyler’s life, which very easily could have impacted his decision,” he said. “He contemplated it very seriously.”

Of course Lockett did choose to be a Wildcat, just like his father and uncle, and has become an instant impact player in just two seasons. Had his freshman season not been cut short by injury, it’s hard telling what more he could have done.

Just last week, Lockett returned a kick for a touchdown to aide the Wildcats 35-21 win over North Texas. Lockett was named Big 12 special teams player of the week Monday morning.

Stoops said he still remembers how good Kevin was during his own time at K-State on the coaching staff. For that reason, he hasn’t been too surprised by what Tyler has accomplished so far.

“Kevin was a great player, he was one of our better players for sure, and a great young man and very productive, excellent player for us at Kansas State,” Stoops said. “We always thought Tyler was an excellent player, too, and obviously all the things he’s doing there, we’re very aware of it. I’m excited for their family. They’re two really good ball players.”

As it often does, the week of a game between Stoops and Snyder had them talking about their days at both K-State and Iowa. Both coaches are familiar with each other’s schemes, and Stoops said he learned plenty from Snyder on his way up.

“I was around him a great number of years, not only as a player but then as a young graduate assistant,” he said. “I kinda worked the scout team defense against his offense every day for about five years, so we did have a lot of time around each other and then as seven years there as an assistant coach.

“So, you know, the attention to detail, the determination, the focus in your preparation and in your team’s preparation are some things that I always remember being very detailed in everything that we were doing with Coach Snyder.”

Snyder said that familiarity makes it somewhat tougher to gameplan against the Sooners.

“I don’t know whether its anymore difficult for Bobby or not,” he said. “I know, I think because we’ve been kind of doing the same things for a long time, that might be the case. By and large, Bobby’s there and Mike (Stoops) is there and Mike was with us as well. There’s been a close relationship between the staffs.”

Stoops agreed the preparation is tough, as Snyder always brings a tough team to the game, regardless of what the final score might be.

“They’re an excellent team so the preparation for them is always complicated,” he said. “Coach (Snyder) has a big playbook and, you know, the way they use the quarterback in all the different ways they run and play action, (there’s) a lot to work on. So, it’s always a tough preparation and they always play well and play hard.”

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | The Manhattan Mercury, 318 North 5th Street, Manhattan, Kansas, 66502 | Copyright 2017