PEMBROKE — Leading into high school football practice starting on July 31, The Robesonian’s sports reporter Jonathan Bym is publishing a countdown of the top 15 players in Robeson County, and Purnell Swett’s Kalan Locklear comes in at No. 11 on the list.
After standing out with his play on the defensive line last season, Locklear is taking on a new role this year. Through the 7-on-7s this summer Locklear has proved that a move to tight end might be a positive move for the Rams.
“Offense is new to me and I’m still learning, but I think I’ll do good,” Locklear said. “My size and speed. I’m faster than my size and I’ve got hands and can catch good to try and be a good tight end.”
At 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Locklear size has been deceitful to defenders and has had some of the highlight plays for the Rams in the scrimmages. Purnell Swett coach Jon Sherman, much like the defenses Locklear has faced, has been impressed by his mixture of speed and size.
“We put him at tight end and my gosh he’s done some things in 1-on-1s and across the field he’s picking up the plays,” Sherman said. “He’s an iron man and we will use him quite a bit.
“He’ll just run routes like he’s done it before. His athletic ability and his motor all work at once for him.”
That motor is something that Locklear carries with him in whatever he takes a part of. Sherman also said that his work ethic goes full speed and at the end of the day is hard to slow down.
“I’m impressed with his work ethic and motor. Sometimes we have to tell him to stop practicing,” Sherman said. “I’m excited for what he can do on defense and what we can use on offense.”
Last season, Locklear totaled over 60 tackles and six sacks at the defensive end position, but see his game taking a bigger step this season, even though he will be utilized on offense for a majority of the plays as well. The same goes for his leadership role.
“On defense, I’m just going to do what I did last year and do a little better,” Locklear said. “I’m a big part of the team and I’ve got to teach the younger kids about what you have got to do out there.”
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.