David Lockwood saw something special in his youngest son Ty at an early age.
However, he saw it on a basketball court.
Ty played high-level AAU basketball growing up in the Chicagoland area as his primary focus and only played football on the side for a youth program. It wasn’t until the family moved to Tennessee that football became a priority in Ty’s life.
The Lockwoods moved to Tennessee in 2020, and Ty enrolled in Independence. This summer and fall were eye-opening experiences for David when it came to seeing the potential for Ty’s future.
Intense one-on-one basketball games with his dad in the driveway helped make Ty a fierce competitor. David never let Ty win those games growing up. But once Ty finally beat his dad, he followed it up with a second season of breakout football. It was then that David realized where his future lay in the sport.
HERE IS THE COMPLETE DANDY DOZEN LIST: Meet the Dandy Dozen – Nashville Area’s Top College Football Prospects for the Class of 2023
EACH DANDY DOZEN MEMBER: Every player who has been named to The Tennessean’s Dandy Dozen, since 2007
DANDY DOZEN NO. 4:What 4-star Ravenwood QB Chris Parson learned studying Tom Brady, Russell Wilson
DANDY DOZEN NO. 5:Marcel Reed passed age, MBA race caps, then Ole Miss and played for Lane Kiffin
“He always had good hands and was always quite tall, but I had no idea football was really going to be his thing,” David said. “Once we got here, things kind of took off. During and at the end of his second year, that’s when I realized that this was probably his thing and that this would be his future in athletics.”
Lockwood, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound, four-star senior commitment from Alabama, is No. 3 in the 2022 Dandy Dozen, a collection of Nashville-area college football’s top prospects as chosen by The Tennessean.
According to 247Sports Composite, Lockwood caught 43 passes for 606 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore. He then caught 42 passes for 462 yards and a pair of touchdowns last season.
“He’s definitely a weapon you can’t train every year unless you’re at IMG Academy,” Independence coach Scott Stidham said. “He’s definitely someone we have to give the ball to and it’s good to have him on our side because he has a lot of ability and is working very hard to become a great football player.
“I love being with Ty not just because of that, but because of the person he is.”
From Texas A&M to Ohio State to Alabama
Lockwood committed to Ohio State on August 19, 2021, becoming the first commitment of the 2023 Buckeyes class.
After staying with the Buckeyes for nearly a year, Lockwood reversed his decision Tuesday at Alabama, following a weekend in Tuscaloosa that ended with an offer from Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban.
However, before Alabama and Ohio State, there was Texas A&M.
Lockwood has an offer from Texas A&M, but has never committed to the Aggies. Instead, he grew up an Aggies fan thanks to his father.
David had a close friend who had gone to Texas A&M in the 90s, so he would come down to College Station and go with him to Aggies games.
They picked the best match on the schedule each year and attended that match, a tradition they had together for 15 years. David took his family to several games and allowed his sons to experience games that had around 100,000 people in attendance.
“I was addicted to Texas A&M football and it’s just something Ty grew up on,” David said. “We were Texas A&M fans because a college football game at Kyle Field with over 100,000 screaming fans was just plain madness. It’s something we embraced.”
DANDY DOZEN N°6:Pitt commit Kenny Minchey of JPII knew football was his future, but first he had to convince his parents
DANDY DOZEN NO. seven:What makes Football Blackman Justin Brown one of Tennessee’s most exciting high school receivers?
DANDY DOZEN NO. 8:What Tennessee football-enthusiast Nathan Robinson learned from his father Marine, who is now a Vols fan
David will likely get the chance to see his son play at Kyle Field in his freshman year, but it will be in a different jersey than the one he grew up playing.
“It’s really great to think about playing against Texas A&M and all the other big SEC programs one day,” Ty said. “Living in Tennessee, you’re in SEC country with Tennessee and Vanderbilt here of course. It’s special because everyone you know here probably goes to an SEC school or they at least put down roots for an SEC team so they still probably get to see me play and that means a lot to me.
“I have classmates who can see me in Alabama and say, ‘Hey, I went to high school with Ty’ or something. It’s good because we know so many people here and people in Texas A&M, so it’s going to be great to play them.”
Contact Joe Spears at [email protected] or 731-343-4923. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @joe_spears7.