Kansas State's Tyler Lockett didn't consider 2014 NFL Draft entry


DALLAS -- Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett was one of the few players that put a dent in the draft stock of CB Jason Verrett, a first-round pick out of TCU, last season. Lockett can say the same of fourth-round CB Aaron Colvin, thanks to his performance vs. Oklahoma in 2013.

Despite such success against some of the best corners in the Big 12 in 2013, the first-team all-league performer didn't even consider leaving school early to declare for 2014 NFL Draft. In many respects, a senior season for Lockett was a sure thing, just like his reliable hands.

"We did (get a draft evaluation) but I didn't really worry about it too much. I let my dad and uncle take care of it," Lockett said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days. "I felt like coming back was the plan for me. I graduate in December, so there was no point in leaving without graduating. My family and I felt like it was a fit to stay another year.

"There were so many people that left in my class that it was like, 'It's probably best for me to stay anyway.'"

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Lockett received a fourth-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board coming off his junior season and enters 2014 as one of the top receivers in college football. His ability as a kick returner makes him even more intriguing to NFL scouts.

Lockett caught 81 passes for 1,262 yards and 11 touchdowns as the Wildcats hit a groove late in the season and won six of their last seven, including a Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl win against Michigan.

The scary thing for defenses is that the receiver has drilled down over the summer to refine his technique and is looking to post even bigger numbers this year.

"I didn't think our connection could get stronger from the bowl game but it has," said quarterback Jake Waters. "Watching film of earlier games with him, he's always going, 'I could have done this better' or 'This was a bad route.' From the beginning to the end of the year, his knowledge of running routes improved tremendously."

As the third member of his family to play for coach Bill Snyder at Kansas State, Lockett enters the season with a good shot at breaking his father Kevin's school record for career receiving yardage. Tyler Lockett sits about 300 yards behind his uncle Aaron Lockett on the all-time list.

"Tyler has taken perhaps the same road as Aaron and Kevin did when they were in our program. Worked diligently at trying to be better people, better family members, better players, better students," Snyder said. "He's one of those guys that you leave the practice field, you go in your office, you look out the window and you've got the equipment managers out there twiddling their thumbs wanting to get the lights turned off and Tyler won't let them because he's out there catching balls off the machine and keeping quarterbacks out to throw to him.

"So, just a young guy that (has) all his marbles in the right place."

With another quality season for the Wildcats, Lockett might find himself in first place in Kansas State's record book, too.

*Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter **@BryanDFischer.*

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