Not only is it a historical event that The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP) is starting its football program up this fall, but it’s a historical day in the life of Red Springs High School football player Nick Locklear as well.
Today is officially Signing Day for all college football recruits and Mr. Locklear, an offensive and defensive lineman, is one of those recruits.
Locklear has been offered a football scholarship at UNCP to play football and will sign a letter-of-intent today.
He is very excited about the chance to play football at the college level and is at a loss for words about hit football career at the college level.
“I’m glad to still be playing football,” said Locklear. “I’ll be able to play football for another four years. My mom’s happy because I’ll be getting a good education, too.”
Locklear, the 17-year-old son of Lisa Lowry of Shannon, played the last three years on both sides of the football for former Red Devils’ coach David Lovette and last season under first year head coach Clay Jernigan.
Locklear’s 2006 season was marred with injury, having only played in the last five games of the season because of dislocated elbow in a pre-season scrimmage in August at the Cumberland County Jamboree at Pine Forest High School.
“It’s going to be good for him because it shows the kids here at Red Springs that if you work hard and don’t give up, you can bounce back and overcome any obstacle,” said Coach Jernigan.
Jernigan was an assistant coach under Lovette for several years while Locklear was playing.
“It’s going to be good for Nick to go to UNCP because his family will be able to see him play,” added Jernigan. “He’ll have a good chance of playing because of it being a new program. That probably weighed a lot on his decision. A lot of kids can go to a bigger school and sit three years and maybe only play one year where at UNCP, he’ll have a chance to play all four years.”
Locklear was voted as one of the county’s top lineman by being placed on the All-Robeson County football team by The Robesonian newspaper. He was also a All-Southeastern 1A/2A Conference selection.
When he’s not playing football, the 6ft.-5-in., 281-pound lineman is a cheerleader and plays on the tennis team and is trying track this spring. He is also on the Math Club at the high school.
“I’m glad for Red Springs High School, too,” said Jernigan. “I think this is something the school needs, something that the kids will catch on fire to. This is something big for the whole county. UNCP made a commitment to recruit from this area and something like this shows that they are recruiting the kids in this county that can play football at the next level.”
Locklear plans to sign his Letter-of-Intent at 10 a.m. this morning at Red Springs High School.