Tulsa Native Tyler Lockett Becoming NFL Star
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa native Tyler Lockett is quickly becoming a star in the NFL, but he'll never forget how he got there.
“For me it’s an opportunity to give God all the glory and for me to be an inspiration for all the people coming out of Tulsa,” he said.
It’s an opportunity the Seahawks' Tyler Lockett has not let pass him by. Including the preseason and regular season, Lockett has had four special teams returns for touchdowns along with two receiving touchdowns. It’s just like he did at Carver Middle and Booker T Washington and at Kansas State.
Now this 3rd round draft pick, only a rookie, is starting to become one of the most feared return men in the league.
“You just got to be able to be smart, you have to know when to call fair catch, when to let it drop," he said. "Second is just being able to have confidence. Third, I think, is after you catch you just have to be aggressive. Everybody at Kansas State understood that he could do it and now my team is understanding I can do it."
Shouldn’t be a surprise that he’s a success. His father, Kevin, played in the NFL for seven years. His uncle, Aaron, also played in the NFL. Tyler has always followed in his father’s footsteps, attending Booker T and Kansas State, so he didn’t have to look far for advice.
His uncle, Aaron Lockett, said, “We wanted him to just go out there and showcase his skills. He’s done good in high school, he’s done well in college and we think that he would transition very well in the NFL.”
And pro teams have dished out advice on the rookie’s transition to the NFL.
Tyler said, “Sometimes it’s lack of knowledge, lack of understanding of what you’re going to deal with, stuff like that. They gave me pieces of knowledge along the way and for me it’s just being able to be the student and not only be a student on the field, but off the field as well.”
And adjust to a new coach in Pete Carroll.
“Coach Snyder’s an old school coach, he makes everybody start at home and work their way around. Coming to Pete Carroll, people say he’s a player’s coach, the biggest thing, he makes the game fun,” Tyler said.
And even the support of the 12th man and the city of Seattle.
“It’s hard to see the Sun some days, but I’m enjoying it, you know, it’s a lake out there, I’m not used to it, but it’s something I can enjoy in my off time, getting on a boat, just get on the water and just kick back,” Tyler said.
Life in the NFL has treated Tyler Lockett pretty well so far, but despite the glamor life of playing in the NFL and playing in glamorous stadiums like Jerry’s World, his rock has always been his family.
“It takes a village to raise a child and that’s definitely what we’ve done,” said his uncle, Aaron.
At the Seahawks game against Dallas, the village consisted of mom, Mama Shirley and Aunt Marva.
“His mom, by far, has always been there, she’s his rock,” said Uncle Aaron.
“They try to come to every single game," Tyler said, "As much as possible, you know, even when it’s in Seattle.”
“I’m a fan, I’m just like everybody else,” said Uncle Aaron.
And as success has followed Tyler, he hopes other success stories can follow at the youth level in Tulsa. He says former teammates like the Alexander brothers (Dominique and Derrick), Dante Barnett and Korey Billbury are ones who hope to inspire a future generation.
“It’s just all about being able to inspire the younger people. We always wanted to make a difference and now we got that chance,” Tyler said.
“It’s mind boggling if you look at the history of Tulsa," Uncle Aaron said. "Tyler’s just in a long line of great athletes to come from Tulsa and I think that he’s representing it well. There’s many more to come after Tyler, there’s many more before him, but for the most part, this is his moment and I think he’s enjoying it.”