TULSA — Because of his family history, it might have seemed obvious that Tulsa Washington star receiver Tyler Lockett would commit to Kansas State.
Both his father, Kevin, and uncle, Aaron, were stars for Bill Snyder's Wildcats in the 1990s, and in April, Tyler gave his verbal pledge to continue the Lockett legacy in Manhattan, Kan.
But it wasn't an automatic decision for the 5-foot-11, 167-pound Tyler.
"I had a lot of coaches talking to me and I wanted to make sure I found the place that was right for me," he said. "I'm glad it's done, because I've been able to focus on next season instead of trying to impress coaches.
"I can focus on being a leader and trying to help us win a 5A state championship."
After a disappointing 2009 season marred by the off-the-field controversy of recruiting allegations that led to forfeits and a coaching change, Lockett says the Hornets are motivated for the fall.
"Last year was very difficult," he said. "We worked very hard and felt like we'd be competing for the gold ball. All that stuff just blew our minds. We couldn't believe what was going on.
"We've got a lot to prove this year, and that's a big motivation, especially with a new coach who brings a lot of discipline."
Darrell Hall left Star Spencer for Tulsa Washington, but didn't get to see his star receiver and safety in spring practice. Lockett has been sidelined the last two months because of wrist surgery after helping the Hornets to a Class 5A basketball state championship. He expects to begin rehabilitation next week and be fully healthy by August.
The Hornets have loads of talent, but they still need Lockett healthy to bolster both sides of the ball.
"He's just an all-around athlete," defensive coordinator Wade Weller said. "He'll start at receiver and play some defensive back for us. He could play quarterback if we needed him to. He can do a lot of things.
"He would be a starter on defense for me, but I'd like to see him focus more on receiver. But he's a kid that will do whatever we need him to do."
And that's Lockett's focus for college, too. He hopes to redshirt next season at K-State, so that he can bulk up and learn the offensive and defensive systems with a hope of playing both ways.
As for his family, they stayed out of his recruiting for the most part.
"My dad wanted me to experience the recruiting process for myself," Lockett said. "On the inside, I think he was excited that I'm keeping the Kansas State tradition going.
"My family was most excited that I committed to a college that was the right fit for me."