Durham, NC – It took a few years and a bit of patience, but Red Shirt sophomore Torry Locklin finally scored his first touchdown for the Kansas soccer team – and quickly added a second to his resume on the Jayhawks’ next possession – in KU’s 52-33 loss at Duke.
Locklin, a former reserve quarterback, Wildcat QB and backup receiver for the Jayhawks, entered Saturday’s game at Wallace Wade Stadium as the current No.2 backer, with 13 career carries, 23 rushing yards in career and no reception statistics of any kind.
Those numbers exploded in a hurry, as Locklin caught a swing pass that traveled 20 yards and a touchdown to open the second quarter, and just over five minutes later he ran away for a touchdown of 36 rushing yards.
âIt was a blessing. It’s been a minute, âa Locklin said with a laugh after the game. “But I owe it to my line and my receivers for making big blocks for me.”
A versatile 6-foot-2, 205-pound athlete who also helps KU in his kickoff squads, Locklin has repeatedly complimented KU’s offensive linemen, as well as blocking the perimeter of skill players. of the Jayhawks, after the most productive day of his college career: seven carries for 47 yards, one catch for 20 yards and two touchdowns.
Scoring both a TD on reception and a TD in the same game, Locklin became the first Jayhawk to do so since running back Tony Pierson defeated him against Iowa State in November 2012.
On Locklin’s two scores in particular, the execution up front and to the edge made it easy for him to find the space he needed to go and play, he said.
His first career catch was relatively easy to pull off, as junior quarterback Jason Bean slid it over a defenseman and into Locklin’s hands in the backfield. Then, Locklin said, he just took advantage of a âbig blockâ from left tackle Earl Bostick Jr., and another block from tight end Mason Fairchild to help him maneuver into the end zone.
The next time Locklin touched the ball, the right-sided blockers opened up an important running lane. Right tackle Bryce Cabeldue and receivers Trevor Wilson, Lawrence Arnold and Tristan Golightly all paved the way for his 36-yard sprint for a touchdown.
KU Football at Duke
Photos of KU football’s 52-33 loss to Duke on September 25, 2021
The explosive types of play performed by Locklin and his teammates helped the Jayhawks finish with a total of 530 yards of attack and an average of 7.4 yards per game. Head coach Lance Leipold thought it was one of the promising developments in the loss, and noted that Locklin didn’t even need âa ton of touchesâ to show off his speed and athleticism.
Finally making an impact for KU in his third season on the show was satisfying for Locklin, a former two-star double-threat rookie from Rockdale, TX.
The former coaching staff used him sparingly as a true freshman in 2019, and an injury only reduced his chances of contributing in 2020, when he failed to record any stats during of his participation in three games.
âIt was huge,â Locklin said of the rebound, âespecially from last year I had a tough year, broke my hand and everything.â
The substitute running back, like his teammates and coaches, was disappointed with how the second half went for KU (1-3) at Duke (3-1), but said he had left encouraged in particular by the explosive games that the offensive could create.
He said the hardest part of the past two seasons has been the team’s struggles on the pitch.
âBut we are heading in the right direction,â added Locklin. âThis game that I feel like starting to turn the tide for us. We just need to be ready for next week.
KU travels again in Week 5, as the Jayhawks face Iowa State (2-2) on Saturday (6:00 p.m., FOX Sports 1).