Greatest Wildcats Jersey Countdown: #83

#83 Kevin Lockett (WR) 1992-1996 (Others considered: Henry Childs)

Why?: Yes, Henry Childs was an impressive tight end, but he’s really only mentioned here as a token consideration. Everyone who knows the K-State story, knows that #83 will always belong to the great Kevin Lockett. Not blessed with great size or speed, Lockett was ignored by his home-state Sooners and Cowboys, and accepted a scholarship offer from Bill Snyder. That was the best decision of his life, as Lockett got even with those schools, posting a perfect record against them in his 4 years on the field. Oh, and he caught a few passes along the way too. Lockett entered the starting lineup in his reshirt freshman season, starting alongside Andre Coleman and Mitch Running. Lockett led the team in catches and yards that year, hauling in 50 for 770 yards, but did not receive All-Conference recognition that year. Those totals surpassed Frank Hernandez’s freshman record by more than 500 yards. Lockett followed that up by leading the team in yards the following season, again missing out on All-Conference honors. By his junior year, Lockett was a feared weapon by all defenses, capable of making any catch at any time. That season he set another record for yardage by a junior, besting Charlie Green by more than 100 yards. He already held the second-highest career total for yards in school history. He was rewarded with All-Conference recognition, setting the stage for a year in which he would be the primary weapon, with Mitch Running and Tyson Schweiger graduating. All Lockett did was obliterate the school’s receptions and yardage records, becoming the only player in school history to have more than 3,000 yards receiving, and, at the time, 200 receptions. His records remained until his son, Tyler came along and passed him in every category. Lockett earned first team All-Conference honors that year, as well as being a third team All-America selection in both his junior and senior seasons. Many people on the national stage ignored Lockett because he did not put up gaudy statistics, mainly because he played alongside some the greatest receivers in school history, but he remains the greatest receiver (other than his son) in the eyes of most K-Staters. Lockett was drafted in the 2nd round by the Kansas City Chiefs and played 7 years in the NFL. More importantly, when the AP was asked to select the All-Time All-Big XII team, Kevin Lockett was chosen as the greatest receiver in league history. Consider that he was chosen ahead of Hart Lee Dykes and Johnny Rodgers.

Career Numbers:

Catches: 217

Yards: 3,032

YPC: 14.0

TDs: 26

Most Memorable Play: So many to choose from, but against Colorado in 1993, the Wildcats fought their way to a tie with the 16th ranked Buffaloes. In that game, one play stands out. Flushed out of the pocket, Chad May rolled right and heaved a desperation pass to the middle of the field. Lockett broke off his route, came back to the ball, overran it, reached behind him and in mid-air, hauled in the pass. That iconic image is still etched in the minds of so many Wildcat fans.

Current Player on the Roster Wearing #83: Will Swanson – True Freshman TE

Odds to Replace Lockett on This List: Less than 1%. You hate to discount a true freshman’s chances, but this would be a monumental feat. It would take Swanson becoming the go-to target all four years, becoming a First Team All-American, and probably winning the Mackey Award as the nation’s best TE. Swanson may end up on this list, but it’s not going to be at this number.

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