On the football field, Jordan Locklear finds no bigger thrill than sacking the quarterback.
“I like hitting people in the backfield,” the Alvord senior said. “When you get that sack, you get that adrenaline rush.”
While Locklear longs to deliver the big hit on signal callers on defense, he puts himself in the crosshairs on the other side of the ball. The 6-1, 220-pound starting defensive end will also start as the Bulldogs’ quarterback.
“You don’t see that very much,” Locklear said about the strange combination of positions. “I like to hit people and don’t mind taking a hit.”
Alvord coach Curtis Enis acknowledge it’s odd.
“Usually if a quarterback plays defense it’s a safety or a cornerback,” the coach said. “But he’s big enough and strong enough to play defensive end. It puts our defense in the best position to be successful with him there. And he wants to play defense and defensive end.”
Locklear broke in at defensive end for the Bulldogs last year. He earned honorable mention on the District 3-2A Division II team.
While playing defense, he was the Bulldogs’ backup quarterback to all-district signal caller Trevor Hardee.
Locklear saw limited action, but remained ready. With Hardee graduating, Locklear knew he’d be taking over at quarterback this season. To get ready, he spent the summer working out. He dropped 15 pounds.
“I worked out all summer,” he said. “I had two to three workouts per day to get ready.
“I’ve got a lot on my shoulders. I like being a leader and stepping up. I feeling like I’m carrying the team on my shoulders.”
Even after dropping a few pounds, Locklear still looks much bigger than your typical Class 2A quarterback.
“He’s a rare type of athlete,” Enis said. “He has offensive lineman or guard written all over him. But how many linemen have the arm that he does? He’s a good pitcher in baseball. He has good hand-and-eye coordination and has the mental makeup of a quarterback.”
The Bulldogs plan to take advantage of Locklear’s strong arm and his size in the running game.
“We want to utilize his unique talents and size,” Enis said. “We’ll treat him like a fullback, tailback.
“He can run a lot of the inside plays and can throw the ball. We’ll let him have some pass/run options. Most cornerbacks at this level are 155 to 160 pounds. How many are going to want to take him on?”
Locklear is not going to go down easy.
“It usually takes more than one to tackle me,” he said.
Enis said they are not worried about the quarterback taking too much contact on offense or from his energy-draining spot at defensive end. But the coach said they may try to spell him some on defense.
“He’s a big kid that’s able to take a physical pounding,” Enis said. “We may keep an eye on the number of defensive plays he’s played. If we can get him off the field for a series, we may do that. But we’d be stupid not to use his defensive abilities.”
Along with the physical attributes, Locklear has impressed Enis and his staff this preseason with his leadership.
“He has a good attitude and good leadership abilities,” Enis said. “He’s taken control of the huddle. I was interested in seeing how he’d handle adversity. He doesn’t let a bad play get him down. He’s shown he’s ready to do this.”
He’s ready to take his shots at opposing offenses and defenses.
“My dad always said, ‘You get hit or you make the hit,’” Locklear said. “I’d rather lay the hits.”