Kai Locksley’s gotten around.
Kai Locksley on his father, Terps offensive coordinator Mike Locksley: "“I think people love that [honesty] because that's something that's not very prevalent in this day in age."
He was born in New York when his father, Terps offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, was coaching at Army. Then they moved to Maryland, where the elder Locksley spent five years as a position coach. Then Florida hired him. After two years there, the Locksleys were on the move again, this time to Illinois.
Three years later, they headed to New Mexico, where Mike Locksley had been hired as head coach. And finally, two years later, they were bound for Maryland again, where Randy Edsall had hired him. For Kai and many coaches' kids, it’s a military brat’s life.
“It’s definitely had its ups and downs. You get to see all of the regions and meet a lot of people, but the hard part is moving away from your friends after you settle in and kind of make a name for yourself,” said the younger Locksley.
In two years he’ll have to decide whether to stick around or pack his bags again. Now a sophomore football and basketball standout at Baltimore’s Gilman School, Locksley’s receiving interest from several BCS schools. Others are sure to come next fall when he enters his junior season and moves into the spotlight at the traditional Baltimore power.
Locksley, who grew up a quarterback, played wide receiver last year at Gilman – “I wasn’t beating out Shane [Cockerille],” he said of the touted future Terps quarterback – but will make the move back under center next season.
Maryland, where his dad’s made a reputation as college football’s preeminent recruiter of the Washington metro area, was the first to offer a scholarship. Most assume Mike Locksley could never whiff on his own kid, and they may end up correct. But Kai Locksley’s keeping an open mind about it, and his father’s not leaning on him – not yet, at least.
“He actually doesn’t bring it up too much,” Locksley said. “When I got the offer, he didn’t really know about it because it was by coach Edsall.”
Florida State wants Locksley to camp this summer. Michigan, Rutgers and Temple are have also invited him to visit. Dad won’t likely be joining him on those visits. He’s busy with his own recruitments and besides, he’d be awkwardly invading enemy lines.
“I think it’ll be my mom going with me,” Locksley said.
Still, there’s no denying Maryland’s built-in advantage. Aside from the family ties, Locksley’s been around the program for much of his life and feels at-home there. He’d actually like to try playing both sports in college; he’ll spend this spring and summer playing AAU basketball for Nike Baltimore Elite.
There’s plenty of time left until he has to make such decisions. When the time does arrive, Locksley said he won’t choose Maryland strictly because of his father. But he knows it as well as anyone: the man is persuasive.
“He’ll be upfront with you and tell you everything you need to hear. He’s not afraid,” Kai Locksley said. “I think people love that because that's something that's not very prevalent in this day in age."
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