Friday, July 22, 2011
Kentrell Lockett: A Rebel with a cause
By Edward Aschoff
HOOVER, Ala. -- Superman lives.
Ole Miss senior defensive end Kentrell Lockett, or "Superman" to his fans, is back and ready to exact his revenge on skittish quarterbacks around the SEC.
Kentrell Lockett suffered a knee injury last season, but coach Houston Nutt expects "him to be full go the first game."
Lockett, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility after suffering an ACL injury early last season, says he's fully healthy and ready for his last romp through the SEC.
Lockett skipped spring practice to recover more, but insists that he hasn't lost any quickness or mobility.
"It's a knee. A knee heals. Nothing happened to anything else," he said. "I still can tackle, still can run, still can jump, so I'm going to play ball."
Getting Lockett, who was a first-team All-SEC selection by the media, not only improves Ole Miss' defense, especially in the pass rush, but adds a crucial element in the leadership category -- an area that suffered a major blow this spring with the season-ending injury to linebacker D.T. Shackelford. Lockett's outgoing and charismatic personality instantly lifts his teammates up and having him on the field this fall will be even more beneficial for the Rebels.
"Means so much to get it back," coach Houston Nutt said. "He is a tremendous leader for us. He does so much with his teammates. He's a winner. I think he's just about there. According to our doctors, he's just about 100 percent, so we expect him to be full go the first game."
Lockett said he felt game-ready late last season when he shed this crutches, and with the season just around the corner, Lockett said his knee is better than it was before he suffered his injury.
"I've made tremendous strides," he said.
"I feel like I'm myself again. I feel like I can do anything now."