June 9, 2007

Local kicker blowing up

When you think of high school athletes that typically set the recruiting world on fire, one of the last positions that come to mind is kicker/punter. This is certainly not the case with hometown product Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Ridge High School kicker Jeff Locke.

The 6-foot-1, 185 pound athlete is also a wide receiver on his high school team, so he certainly doesn't fit the mold of a typical kicker.

Just two weeks ago, Locke had just three offers and was rumored to be favoring Wisconsin, however, he is now up to 9 offers and compiling a list of favorites appears to be on the back burner for now.

"I now have offers from ASU, UCLA, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, North Carolina, Wisconsin, San Diego State, Washington State, and Colorado State," Locke said.

Locke wants to make a collegiate decision before the beginning of his senior season, so official visits probably won't play a part in his recruitment.

"I want to visit all of the schools before my season starts," Locke said. "So far I already have visits to Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, and North Carolina lined up. I'm also going to Nebraska and Stanford's kicking camps later in the summer."

Locke recently went to the camp on the Sun Devil campus and definitely impressed the staff.

"I think I kicked very well at the (ASU) camp," Locke said. "After the camp on Sunday, I came back the following Tuesday and Coach Erickson offered me a scholarship. I sat in his office for about 30 minutes, it was great."

Locke also spent a good amount of time with his recruiting coach during the return visit last Tuesday.

"I spent a lot of time with Coach Cozzetto. I stayed with him most of the time on my visit. He is a really great guy and my parents love him."

Most schools are recruiting Locke as a punter, but he also compiled very impressive stats from the kicker position during his junior season. He would, "love to do both" if given the opportunity at the college level.

"I was 7-for-11 on field goals with a long of 48," Locke said. "I also averaged 43 yards per punt and was 33 for 40 on touchbacks."

Locke also attended the Chris Sailer kicking camp in May where he earned recognition as the Number one punter in the nation.

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