The Wolfpacker

September 2015

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 43 of 95

44 ■ THE WOLFPACKER N C State redshirt sophomore wide re- ceiver Gavin Locklear has come too far to let a broken leg stop him. His journey to the Wolfpack, the team Locklear grew up rooting for, was a long one. After catching 21 passes for 424 yards and two touchdowns as a senior at Apex (N.C.) High, the 5-10, 186-pound Locklear did not appear to be destined to wear the Pack's red and white colors. In fact, after multiple visits to Campbell, including one of the official variety, Lock- lear was feeling the pull towards the Cam- els. A coaching change at NC State opened the door for Locklear, though. "My coach told me that the new coach- ing staff was coming in, they are going to get their first class signed and then they'll hand out some walk-ons. He said be patient with it," Locklear remembered. "I waited and waited, and it was almost to the point that I needed to make a decision. "I stayed steady through the process, and when they offered me the spot I knew instantly where I wanted to go and came here." The life of a walk-on is, Locklear sum- marized, a lot of hard work. "You are going to have your doubts," Locklear acknowledged. "You are not always going to be the first guy called. Sometimes you might not get as many reps as the scholarship guys. "At the end of the day, you just come out here to work. Everybody has to prove themselves when you get here." Locklear's self-confidence allowed him to believe he deserved to be on the field, and the wideout was tracking as a poten- tial contributor after redshirting the fall of 2013. Then came a corner route during a player-organized seven-on-seven scrim- mage last summer, two weeks before the start of fall camp. Locklear went up for a jump ball, battling a defensive back. The collision resulted in a compound fracture in his leg. Locklear noted that there was about a 30-second delay between the leg breaking before he began to feel what has happened. His immediate thoughts, though, did not turn towards the injury. "The first thing on my mind is all the hard work I put in the spring and summer and to be two weeks away from camp and break my leg and couldn't play the season," Locklear said. "That was more disappoint- ing than breaking my leg." His strong will, though, had him back on the field by the start of spring drills. Others told him that the toughest obstacles in his return would be mental. Locklear did not find it that way. "I would definitely say the physical part was harder," he noted. "Once I put my mind to it, I just tell myself I am going to do it. Getting in rehab, there were bumps in the road. "I had the break in the leg then I ended up getting tendonitis. It just seemed like one thing after another." Locklear felt good during spring, al- though coaches were cautious and did not allow him to get hit much. Locklear admit- ted that his first few summer runs left him a little sore. Those began to subside though the closer he reached fall camp. "More towards the end of summer is when I knew I was good," he said. Now that he is back, Locklear has high expectations for himself. "Trying to lead the receivers in catches, catching yards, all that stuff," he said, "but also trying to be a great teammate, be a great leader for the young guys, even the older guys when we are down, picking everybody up." Given how far Locklear has come, every- thing seems possible. — Matt Carter WOLFPACK FOOTBALL Wide Receiver Gavin Locklear Hopes For Triumphant Return Locklear, a redshirt sophomore wide receiver that missed the 2014 campaign after breaking his leg last summer, aims to contribute to the Pack's passing attack this season. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN 2015 NC State Football Schedule Date Opponent Time Sept. 5 Troy 6 p.m. Sept. 12 Eastern Kentucky 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at Old Dominion 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at South Alabama TBA Oct. 3 Louisville TBA Oct. 9 at Virginia Tech 8 p.m. Oct. 24 at Wake Forest TBA Oct. 31 Clemson TBA Nov. 7 at Boston College TBA Nov. 14 at Florida State TBA Nov. 21 Syracuse TBA Nov. 28 North Carolina TBA

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - September 2015