University of Missouri

Lee’s Summit’s Drew Lock holds the key for one college football program

Lee’s Summit quarterback Drew Lock threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more in his varsity football debut — as a sophomore.

At the time, Lock couldn’t have envisioned the 16-month journey to today, when the two-sport star will announce his college decision at a ceremony at the Summit Grill & Bar in Lee’s Summit.

“That first start, I was kind of out there winging it a little bit,” Lock said of the 45-14 win over Raytown on Aug. 24, 2012. “Coach (Eric Thomas) has taught me so much about football since then.

“I wasn’t even really thinking about college football at that point. I had it set in my mind, and it’s still that way a little, that I was going to be a basketball player.”

Lock’s boyhood dreams weren’t of gridiron glory despite the fact that his father, Andy, played right tackle at Missouri during 1986-89 and went to preseason camp with the New York Giants in 1990.

“Growing up, it was always basketball,” said Lock, whose grandfather Jerry also played football at Missouri. “My mom, (Laura), really got me into basketball. She played basketball in high school and actually scored more than 1,000 points at Centralia High School. I had to make sure I got there, which I did last year.”

Out in the driveway, Lock dreamed of hitting game-winners in North Carolina blue, pretending to follow in Michael Jordan’s footsteps.

Now when you ask Lock for his top five teams, he rattles off Tennessee, Missouri, Michigan State, Ohio State and Mississippi — for football.

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams never stepped up with an offer, but Lock has received basketball offers from Missouri, Oklahoma and Wichita State, according to 247sports.com.

Still, Lock is expected to announce he will continue his college career as a quarterback after emerging as one of the nation’s top pro-style passers during a sterling junior season. Lock, 6 feet 3, completed 199 of 331 passes for 3,062 yards with 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Lock — who is a four-star recruit and the No. 5 overall pro-style quarterback, according to Rivals.com — was chosen as The Star’s first-team All-Metro quarterback last season after leading Lee’s Summit to a 10-2 record.

“Drew, more so than I, has been surprised,” Thomas said. “I kind of saw it all along. He always kind of felt like he was the basketball guy, so I’m not sure he ever really truly realized what his potential was in football, but I saw it when he was in eighth grade and I first took the job.”

While he’d love to continue playing both sports in college, Lock, who was a second-team All-Metro selection in basketball this winter, understands that the demands of playing quarterback at a major-college program might not allow it.

“Being a quarterback, I think that would be tough,” Thomas said. “There’s so much to learn and so much responsibility there. We’ve had that conversation, ‘Being a quarterback is a little bit different, and it’s pretty tough to do.’ ”

If he has to choose one sport, Lock said, “it will hurt inside, but there’s always next year” — his senior year at Lee’s Summit — “to play both at least one more time.”

And Lock, who will compete at the Elite 11 regional quarterback camp in Chicago this weekend, is determined to enjoy this last burst of childhood.

“I didn’t want the process to linger over the summer,” Lock said. “I wanted to get it out of the way, so I can enjoy probably the last summer to be a kid. I feel like it’s going to be a weight off my back and I’ll be happy with the decision I make. After that, I’ll go to college, and it’s business there.”

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