#16 Tyler Lockett
Position: Wide Receiver
Previous College: None
Status: On Scholarship
How do I even begin to summarize the stellar career of one Tyler Deron Lockett (b. Sept. 28, 1992)? There's hardly enough space in this little post even to begin. But I shall attempt nonetheless to chronicle the journey of this prodigy.
Lockett is a quick and athletic all-purpose player who is a dynamic kickoff returner and a deep threat at wide receiver. He enters 2014 as one of the nation's top threats as both a receiver and kick returner.
He also enters the 2014 season ranked fourth in school history in career receptions (143) and touchdown receptions (18), while he is fifth in receiving yards (2,195).
Lockett needs just 75 receptions, 838 yards and nine touchdowns, respectively, to break all three school records, which are held by his father, Kevin. He also ranks highly in career 100-yard receiving games (tied for third with nine).
He also has shined as a kickoff returner during his career, holding the school record for yards (1,834), ranking second in touchdowns (4) and average (31.1), and ranking third in returns (59).
Locketts needs just 10 returns and two touchdowns to break the school record in those two departments.
He also ranks as one of the best all-purpose players in school history. He is second in career yards (4,290) and fifth in yards per game (126.2).
Lockett, who is a two-year team captain going on his third year, ranks second among active players nationally in career kickoff-return average (31.1) and kickoff-return touchdowns.
He is a 2014 preseason All-Big 12 selection at both wide receiver and kick returner, and also resides on the preseason watch lists for the Maxwell, Biletnikoff, Walter Camp and Paul Hornung awards.
Lockett's many accolades in 2011, 2012 and 2013 are too numerous to list here in full, but I will attempt a summary.
Tyler Lockett has been described as a combination of his father Kevin's uncanny pass-catching abilities, and his uncle Aaron's build, speed and shiftiness — and Tyler actually might have exceeded the hype of both in 2011.
After all, the true freshman was named a first-team Walter Camp All-as a kick returner after averaging 35.2 yards per kick return, which would have led the nation had he returned enough kickoffs to qualify nationally.
Lockett took kickoffs back for touchdowns in consecutive weeks at Texas Tech and at Kansas to become the first player in school history to accomplish that feat. He also caught 18 passes for 246 yards before his kidney injury.
After missing the final four games of that season and the subsequent spring, Lockett bounced back in a big way.
He earned second-team All-Big 12 honors as an all-purpose player from the Associated Press, while he was an honorable-mention selection at wide receiver by both the league's coaches and the Associated Press.
Lockett ranked fifth in school history in receptions (44) and yards (687) among sophomores.
He had a legendary night offensively at West Virginia, setting career marks in receptions (9), yards (194) and receiving touchdowns (2). His 194 yards were the fifth most in school history and the most by a sophomore.
Equally impressive was his game against Oklahoma State, in which he caught five passes for 75 yards while returning two kickoffs for 127 yards, including a 100-yard touchdown return that was the second of his career.
That's yet another thing he was the first to do at K-State. And who can forget his 55-yard touchdown catch against Texas that broke the Longhorns' will and locked up a Big 12 championship?
In 2013, Lockett really broke out, earning numerous national accolades as a second-team All-American by the Football Writers Association and Phil Steele, while he picked up honorable mention honors from Sports Illustrated.
Lockett was named the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year by the league's coaches, while also earning first-team All-Big 12 honors from the coaches as a wide receiver and kick returner.
He also earned votes for Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, picked up first-team all-conference accolades from AP as both a wide receiver and all-purpose player, and was a candidate for the Biletnikoff and Hornung awards.
Lockett ranked in the top 25 nationally in six categories last season, placing 11th in receiving yards per game (105.2), 12th in all-purpose yards per game (154.92), 16th in total receiving yards (1,262), 17th in kickoff returns (26.5), 19th in receiving touchdowns (11) and 22nd in receptions per game (6.8).
His national ranking in total receiving yards was impressive considering he missed a game due to injury. He tied for sixth in school history in kickoff-return yards (583) and finished with 1,859 all-purpose yards to rank fifth in history.
Lockett also led the Big 12 in receiving yards per game and all-purpose yards in 2013, while ranking third in kickoff returns and sixth in touchdown scoring.
He finished second in school history in receptions (81) and yards (1,262), but set the school highs in each category among juniors. He also ranked second in 100-yard games (7) and fourth in touchdowns (11).
Lockett, who was named to the American Football Coaches Association Good Works team and earned second-team Academic All-Big 12 honors, teamed with Tramaine Thompson against North Dakota State to have two 100-yard Wildcats receivers in a single game for the first time since 2008.
Lockett's 111 yards against Louisiana made him the first K-State receiver with consecutive 100-yard games to open a season since 2010.
He set a then-school record with 237 yards at Texas, a mark he later broke when he went for 278 yards against Oklahoma. Both stats are utterly ridiculous, but unfortunately, both came in losses, proving balance is paramount.
Lockett's two 200-plus-yard games were the top two marks in the Big 12 in 2013, while his yardage against the Sooners was the fifth most nationally and the fourth most in Big 12 history.
That total included a 90-yard touchdown reception, which was the second-longest in school history (since 1969).
Lockett's 13 receptions against the Longhorns tied for third in K-State history, while his 12 against OU tied for fifth.
Coupled with his 162 kickoff-return yards against Oklahoma, Lockett compiled a school-record 440 all-purpose yards to rank fifth in FBS history.
His single-game all-purpose yardage record was nearly 100 yards better (89) than the previous record held by both Brandon Banks and Darren Sproles, who also broke the NFL single-season all-purpose yardage record in 2011.
Lockett also had 333 all-purpose yards against Texas and held two of the top-five all-purpose yard performances in the nation during the 2013 campaign.
He tied the school record with three touchdown receptions against West Virginia, Oklahoma and Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
Lockett's three touchdown grabs in the bowl victory tied a K-State bowl record as he earned the bowl's Offensive MVP honors. He also registered a beautiful, then-career-long 74-yard touchdown reception against TCU.
Phew, is that enough? I could keep going, but you surely get the picture by now. It's hard to believe we've reached the end of this illustrious career, but at least we get to watch at least 12 more games of pure receiving genius.