Local player granted rare sixth-year of eligibility
“I am just days away from ditching the crutches from the knee surgery and I am going to hit the ground running.”Lockett said. “I am anxious to get off of these crutches before I can do anything else, but I finally can sleep well now. Just the whole uncertainty of all of this was just eating away at me.
“I have been crying all day because of the good news. I am real happy right now.”
Lockett had suffered a season-ending ACL tear in his knee on September 25, 2010 in Ole Miss’ win over Fresno State, which led the senior to apply for a medical redshirt.
The 6-3, 265-pound defensive end had also missed the 2010 season-opener due to a heart rhythm condition.
Part of the concern was that Lockett had been given a redshirt season in 2006 after leaving high school and the NCAA had really not been open in the past to give another redshirt season, despite the medical condition.
In 2009 Lockett had started all 13 games for the Rebels and had recorded 39 tackles, 10 tackles for losses, five quarterback sacks and 13 quarterback pressures. The former Hahnville High School standout was a 3rd team All-SEC performer in 2009 and he was the recipient of the 2010 Chucky Mullins Award and the distinction of wearing the “38” patch on his jersey to honor the former Rebel who was paralyzed during a game in 1989.
“Am I happy? That would be an understatement,” said Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt. “It’s great news to hear we are getting him back. I know it’s been a burden on his mind the past few weeks and he’s raring to get back on the practice field.
“He’s a terrific football player, someone even with the knee injury that was invited to the February NFL Combine and he is an outstanding ambassador for the University of Mississippi.”
Nutt went on to say that Lockett’s leadership skills and talent are something needed to excel in the Southeastern Conference.
“Having been a coach in this conference since 1998 I understand that talented defensive ends are very hard to find and ones that exhibit great leadership skills on and off the field are even tougher to find,” Nutt said. “Kentrell is someone we are going to lean on to just not be a productive football player, but to display to these young guys how to get the job done.
“He is a captain here and I am thrilled to have him back at Ole Miss.”
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