A full summer of football just got a little busier for Nick Lockett.
The Western Hills freshman has been selected for the U.S. under-17 national team program and will be at the University of Texas in July participating in USA Football’s Under-17 International Development Week.
“My dad came to me after football one day and said he’d signed me up for a USA team he heard about from (WHHS) Coach (Don) Miller,” Lockett said.
But there was more to joining the team than signing up. Players could apply for the team but not everyone was selected.
“We sent in a highlight film,” Lockett said. “They (USA Football) took a certain amount of players from films and a certain amount from tryouts.”
Lockett played a big role for the Wolverine football team this past season. He rushed for 461 yards and five touchdowns, and he also had nine receptions and one touchdown.
Playing at strong safety, Lockett had 43 tackles last season. He was selected for the under-17 national team as a defensive player.
“For a freshman to come in and excel offensively and defensively is very impressive,” Miller said. “Nick has been a great asset to our team.”
Lockett played football for three years at Bondurant. He also played baseball but gave up the sport to concentrate on football.
His freshman year of football wasn’t exactly what he expected.
“It went a lot better than I thought it would,” Lockett said. “Coach Miller had me start on defense, and he let me play offense.”
Which is his favorite? Sitting next to Miller, Lockett hesitated answering the question but his coach stepped up.
“I think his true love is offense,” Miller said. “He likes running the ball.”
Lockett will arrive in Austin on July 6, and the week wraps up on July 12. During that time he will attend an NFL mini-camp, participate in practices, an international joint practice, player development sessions, a situational scrimmage and full games.
According to its website, USA Football is the sport’s national governing body in the U.S. and is the official youth football development partner of the National Football League, its 32 teams and the NFL Players Association.
Lockett is looking for a few things out of the program.
“Probably just the publicity and the opportunity to be around another environment,” he said.
While it’s still three years away, Lockett would like to play college football.
“I plan on it the way Miller’s got me going,” he said.
“Nick has worked very hard in the off-season in the weight room and conditioning,” Miller said. “He’s done the same in the classroom, carrying a 3.0 GPA.
“It’s a great honor for Nick to be invited to the USA Football under-17 national team, and I look forward to watching him grow into a great student-athlete.”
Due to NCAA rules the USA Football under-17 national organization cannot provide any monetary assistance since the program will take place on the campus of the University of Texas.
Lockett is accepting donations to help with the cost of registration and travel. For more information contact his father, LaRoyce Lockett, at (502) 682-5904.