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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Kansas QB Torry Locklin had opportunity to develop during grayshirt year

Blue team quarterback Torry Locklin runs in a touchdown during Late Night Under the Lights on Saturday, April, 13, 2019 at Memorial Stadium.

Blue team quarterback Torry Locklin runs in a touchdown during Late Night Under the Lights on Saturday, April, 13, 2019 at Memorial Stadium.

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Kansas freshman quarterback Torry Locklin has been unique since the first time he threw a football.

When Locklin was 11 years old, the coaching staff called a trick play just before the half. Locklin, who was a running back at the time, took a direct snap from the Wildcat formation and proceeded to unleash a left-handed pass.

Shortly after the play, the team headed into the locker room where Locklin received a prophecy from his father.

“My dad said, 'Hey, you are going to be a quarterback,’” Locklin recalled.

Kerry Locklin should know, as he had a quarterback background before eventually playing tight end for the Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos of the NFL.

Ever since his first throw, Torry Locklin has been attempting to become a better quarterback. He’s soaked up as much information from plenty of prominent voices, even if they didn’t always know how to properly teach the southpaw signal caller.

“A lot of people had struggles trying to coach me, because it was hard for them to try and teach me how to do things as a lefty,” Locklin said. “They were trying to coach it right-handed, and I was always trying to do it left-handed. In the beginning it was hard, but as I grew, it became easier."

But perhaps the most important year for Locklin — at least from growth standpoint — was his grayshirt season in 2018.

Locklin announced his intentions to play at Kansas back in February of 2018 after leading Rockdale High School to a state title in Class 3A in Texas, which was the program’s first crown since Kerry Locklin spearheaded a championship run in 1976. But Torry Locklin was ultimately asked by KU’s previous coaching staff to wait a year before enrolling.

It meant that Locklin had to take classes elsewhere last fall, while also finding ways to improve his game away from Lawrence. It was a process that his brother, Tymon Locklin, went through at New Mexico State just five years ago.

“Being able to see what he went through, I feel like he just showed me it is a better opportunity for me,” Torry Locklin said. “To learn and grow."

Locklin often worked out back home in New Mexico, though he also spent a brief time in Canada.

Kerry Locklin coaches the defensive line for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, so Torry took the opportunity to spend two weeks up there last September. After practices, Locklin would throw to members of the Argonauts. Locklin even spent some time in the quarterback meetings, which included former Missouri quarterback James Franklin.

"Those guys up there in the CFL, they have been down here in the NFL and big-time colleges,” Locklin said. “I'm just trying to get a piece of everything from them. I just am trying to soak up as much as I could."

Locklin returned to Lawrence in January, even though that wasn’t always a guarantee. When the new coaching staff took over, Locklin wasn’t certain he’d still be a member of the 2019 class until he spoke with head coach Les Miles.

"You are kind of on the edge with a coaching change,” Locklin said. “When they evaluated the film and everything, they felt like I could be a part of this team. I just felt at ease."

Since stepping on campus, Locklin has managed to turn the heads of his teammates and even the coaching staff. The dual-threat quarterback has a knack for extending plays and making things happen with his legs, which was evident by his 38-yard score in KU’s spring game this past April.

It remains to be seen if Locklin can earn playing time this fall, as both Thomas MacVittie and Carter Stanley are the two frontrunners in KU’s starting quarterback competition. But it is clear that Locklin is a part of the Jayhawks’ plan down the road.

So what can Kansas fans expect when he finally does step on the field for the Jayhawks?

"Be ready for a show,” Locklin said.

Comments

Dirk Medema 2 months, 3 weeks ago

It’s great when a player like Torry and coaches are patient with the process of development. That they can see the benefits of persistent hard work at improving. It’s nice when a Pooka or Coe or Hakeem or others can come in and have an impact right from the start but it easy to cheer for Torry and the others that put in the hard work without the initial reward.

Dale Rogers 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree with Dirk on this one. And I'm excited to see what this young man can do, down the road.

Dennis Strick 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Dirk would be correct if we had time for that but we don't. We need six wins and a bowl appearance this season. If you read between the lines of HCLM media minutes I don't think he is convinced that his QB1 or QB2 can accomplish the mission. He said he would have a final feel for it all after game 1. I think like all HC's he is concerned about the optics of a gray shirt starter, but his fav is Torry. I look for Torry to lead the offense to six wins starting with BC. The kid has "it".

Chris Bailey 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I really hope you're kidding. If you really expect 6 wins and a bowl game this year you're not being realistic. Could we? Maybe heck anything is possible but to expect it isn't being realistic. If we start this coach on the hot seat in year one we're not long for a new coach again and we can't afford that. I feel like Miles will right this ship within the next 3 years so we are back to respectability. Have some patience and enjoy the ride.

Dennis Strick 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Chris, he is not on the hot seat. I truly believe we have had the talent for two years to win 6 games we just had a horrible coach who had no idea whatsoever what he was doing from one minute to the next and he worked for an AD who was even more clueless. I think the Mad Hatter, who is a real coach, knew that before he ever took the job. There is no pressure on him or the players I just feel very strongly with my very limited football IQ that all the pieces are in place to get those results. I have my season tickets and I do plan to enjoy the ride.

Dirk Medema 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Dennis - I would suggest to you that Torry already has been patient to wait and develop. If Torry came in during the year and became the starter, sort of Reesing-esque, would fit in just fine IMO. Not that I’m predicting it, but like you said, maybe he has it.

Brett McCabe 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree that Locklin might be the guy who wins the job. Haven’t seen him play a down but there seems to be too much smoke for there not to be a fire. It’s game week!

And BTW Dennis, you probably heard the Desmond Howard has us going to a bowl game!

Dane Pratt 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Seems like a quantum leap from one year out of high school where his offers for scholarships were from New Mexico State and Georgia Southern to starting QB on a P5 program. The TV show Quantum Leap starring Scott Bakula who is a KU alum and starred in the movie Necessary Roughness as a QB who led fictional doormat program Texas State to an upset tie against KU. So sure, I guess it could happen.

Brian Hosfelt 2 months, 3 weeks ago

can you take a red shirt after a grey shirt?

Dennis Strick 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Brett,

I did hear that. I think he heard it from me at kusports.com back when they hired the Mad Hatter. As Jack Palance said in Batman to Jack Nicholson...."He's my guyyyyyy" He's going to lead us to the promised land.

Dane, very good comeback quips. So what you are saying is if Scott Bakula can lead a team from North Texas, with a white hot girl kicker, to the championships so can Torry? If so, I concur at least a shot at the Big 12 playoffs.

Dane Pratt 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Not sure what I was saying. Wasn't totally sober when I posted it. Seemed relevant at the time.

Dirk Medema 2 months, 3 weeks ago

@Brian - I believe The greyshirt means his eligibility clock didn’t start until this year so he would still have a redshirt free eligibility year.

I think it similarly allowed some blueshirts (entered college on scholarship a year before the scholarship counts against the 25 annual limit) to also claim redshirts last year when they played in fewer than 5 games.

Layne Pierce 2 months, 3 weeks ago

If this team wins 4 or 5 games that will be great. They have potential but they ain't done anything yet. What I Wii predict is you will see a competitive proud team improving game by game, and if we want a program we have to support progress that is real and sustainable.

Rcjh

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