High schools

Quarterback Drew Lock a spark for 4-0 Lee’s Summit

Updated: 2013-09-27T22:58:08Z

By SAM MCDOWELL

The Kansas City Star

Lee’s Summit High School junior Drew Lock believes he was born to play quarterback. That belief comes with a short story.

Four years ago, a little league football coach asked Lock to shift to fullback. The plan was to leave him there for one play.

The experiment didn’t even last that long. On an attempted block gone awry, Lock fell to the ground.

The play ended with his wrist in a cast. It was the final snap of his seventh-grade season.

“That’s when I knew,” Lock says. “I never wanted to be anything but a quarterback.”

Since then, the requests to move elsewhere have ceased.

He’s in his second year as the signal caller for Lee’s Summit, which plays host to Raymore-Peculiar in a conference game Friday.

Lock has grown into a 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame, and he has the rocket arm and raw athleticism to go with it.

Perhaps, you could say, he was born to play quarterback.

“All the tools are there,” Lee’s Summit coach Eric Thomas said. “He’s got the arm strength and all the natural abilities you want out of your quarterback.

“The next step is taking him from a gunslinger to a student of the game who knows exactly what the defense is doing. When he gets to that point, then it’s going to be something really special.”

That growth has become a work in process, but the Tigers are growing right along with him. After finishing 3-7 with Lock under center last year, they’re 4-0 this season and fresh off a dramatic 31-28 victory against previously-unbeaten Liberty.

The gunslinger, needless to say, is churning out results.

Lee’s Summit has already defeated two teams it lost to by double-digit margins last season. A date with Raymore-Peculiar offers the opportunity for a third — and it would be an especially satisfying victory after Raymore-Peculiar shut out the Tigers 41-0 last season.

Lock, 16, has been at the forefront of the turnaround. A true pocket passer with the ability to pick apart an opponent out of the Tigers’ spread offense, Lock has thrown for 1,110 yards and 14 touchdowns. He threw for seven of those TDs three weeks ago in a 77-55 victory over Kearney.

“It definitely makes a difference having that one year behind you — I learned a lot last year,” Lock said. “The work I put in last year bleeds over into this year. It’s made things a lot easier for me. I think that’s what you’re seeing.”

It’s certainly what colleges are seeing, and it’s piqued their interest.

Only a junior, Lock already has Division I offers from Missouri, Louisville and Indiana to play quarterback. His father, Andy Lock, was an offensive lineman at Missouri.

The decision, though, won’t be quite so easy.

Lock is also a noted talent on the basketball court. A small forward, he has received hoops offers from Missouri, Oklahoma and Wofford.

Missouri has offered him the chance to be a dual-sport athlete — the same as he is for Lee’s Summit High.

“It’s a big decision — it’s not a problem a lot of people get to have, and I don’t take it for granted,” Lock said of his future. “I’ll think about playing both (sports), but the reality is that would be hard. But it’s still something I will consider.”

As seems evident, Lock’s mind is far from made up. He hasn’t set a timetable for his commitment, either.

Instead, he says, he’s concentrating on leading Lee’s Summit to a winning record for the first time since 2010. That team was led by another Division I quarterback, Corbin Berkstresser, who is now on the football roster at Missouri.

“Seeing what we can do, I think we’ve changed our expectations,” Lock said. “We know we’re capable. There’s a different feeling than last year. Being 4-0, you just walk around feeling a little different. You don’t want to let that go.”

To reach Sam McDowell, send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/SamMcDowell11.

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