Howard quarterback Courvoisier King minces no words when he talks about one of the big men who will be in front of him this season.
At 6-foot-3 and 320 pounds, Tyjae Lockett is hard to miss. And with Lockett getting time at offensive guard and nose tackle, he won’t be coming off the field a whole lot.
All the better, King figures.
“He should be the No. 1 defensive lineman in Macon, Georgia,” King said. “People should watch out for him.”
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After spending two seasons as one of the Huskies’ starting defensive tackles, Lockett is moving to nose for his senior season.
Lockett finished with 44 tackles and a sack last year, not quite as many as Greg Pertillo (77) or last year’s nose tackle, Isaiah White (53). But Pertillo and White have graduated, leaving Lockett to step up as a leader on the defensive line.
“Tyjae is pretty special,” Howard head coach Barney Hester said. “He moves well for weighing 320 pounds.”
The biggest difference between last season and this season for Lockett, besides the position change is his size. Lockett added 15 pounds in the past year, and he has worked to remain nimble with the added weight.
The Huskies open the season at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Ed DeFore Sports Complex against Lamar County.
“This summer, I worked on speed and mostly (developing) size,” Lockett said. “I worked on rushing the quarterback, stopping on a dime, changing direction.”
Lockett is one of five returning starters on Howard’s defense. Seven starters return on offense, so he will be mixing in with a veteran group.
The offseason development of Lockett has given Hester the opportunity to use Lockett in ways he normally doesn’t use linemen.
“You’re talking about a 320-pounder, and I don’t like playing guys on both sides of the ball,” Hester said. “So he must be pretty special.”