"It doesn't really matter because we knew from the beginning and we knew all along he was going to wind up at K-State," said Oklahoma State defensive tackle Calvin Barnett, Lockett's high school teammate and friend. "It was obvious to all of us where he would play in college."
Lockett is hoping to make his final trip back to Oklahoma in his college career a success similar to last September's visit to OU.
His last trip to Oklahoma State was a barn burner that Oklahoma State won after holding the Wildcats out of the end zone when they drove down inside the 10-yard line with just second remaining. A Collin Klein pass to Chris Harper was broken up by Brodrick Brown and then Richetti Jones forced an errant toss on a Klein roll out on fourth down. The Cowboys won 52-45.
"I am looking forward to it," said Lockett Tuesday from Manhattan, Kan., during the Kansas State press conference. "The last time we went to Oklahoma State we ended up losing, and this is my last time playing at Oklahoma State. When you look back at it, you do not want the same thing to happen again. I think it really starts on the practice field, but I think a lot of players are really getting ready for this game on Saturday."
Getting ready to play has never been a problem for the Locketts, and for Tyler. His former teammate and now opponent in Barnett remembers that well.
"I always admired Tyler because he did things right," said Barnett. "It didn't matter, football, school, everything. He was always doing the right thing and we all always knew he would be successful. I remember following him when I was at Navarro (junior college) and hearing how well he was doing."
"They all come from a great family background. They are all very valued young people in terms of a value system that is strong and in place," said Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder when asked about all three of the Locketts.
"I think that they are young people that genuinely care. They are great teammates and are very diversified. They are talented in many areas other than football. They have all been competitive on the field and have worked hard and done all the things that we have asked them to do. I could go on and on. It is all centered around character as much as anything else.
"On the field, their similarities are they all played wide receiver and they all caught the ball extremely well. Kevin, I believe, was a much more natural receiver but the others have worked extremely hard in order to develop the capabilities and have become equally as successful at catching the ball as Kevin was. Kevin probably didn't have the sheer speed as the other two, but he was a little taller than the other two. There are a lot more similarities between the three than differences," said Snyder.
A senior this season, Lockett has 29 receptions for 469 yards and a touchdown, but he is still looking to improve and get better.
"I think one of the things I said was I just needed to work on my passion and being able to talk more and be a leader," said Lockett of his role in helping a 2-2 Kansas State team come out of the open week stronger. "I think that one of the things I was talking about earlier was just being able to find ways to encourage people without saying things to shut them down. I think being able to speak to your teammates is a huge thing because you will be able to uplift them instead of bring them down."
Lockett is a good representative of Oklahoma high school football and a good player. But all Cowboys and Cowboys fans, including his former teammates Calvin Barnett and Shamiel Gary, will be hoping he goes back to K-State from this trip to his home state empty-handed and even a little sad from seeing the Cowboys win again.