The decision struck Drew Lock about 10 days ago, he estimated, when a visionary thought popped into his head. He pictured his father, Andy, walking into Memorial Stadium on the Missouri campus, wearing a Tigers uniform.
He couldn’t pass up the chance to wear one, too.
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The highly-touted quarterback from Lee’s Summit High School announced Wednesday he plans to attend Missouri on a football scholarship.
“I don’t feel like I could have played anywhere but Missouri because I feel like that’s where their heart lies, and that’s where my heart lies, too,” Lock said. “He did walk out into that stadium. To think that so many years later, I’m going to get the chance to actually do that, it’s surreal.”
In the process of committing to Missouri — where Andy Lock played on the offensive line from 1986 to 1989 — Lock spurned football offers from more than a dozen schools, including Texas, Ohio State, Michigan State and Tennessee. Lock, a junior, said Tennessee had finished second in the recruiting war.
But it wasn’t that close.
Lock said Missouri was the front-runner during the entire process, which kicked into high gear when Tigers coach Gary Pinkel called Lock, then a sophomore, to make an offer.
“Driving home that day, I think that might have been the loudest I’ve ever had my music,” Lock said. “To say I was feeling (it) is an understatement.”
The fifth-ranked pro-style quarterback on Rivals.com, Lock also passed on basketball offers from Oklahoma and Wichita State. As for the possibility of playing basketball at Missouri, Lock acknowledged he has discussed that with Pinkel and MU basketball coach Frank Haith. “We’ll see,” Lock said.
Lock will spend his summer playing AAU basketball.
The two-sport star was an all-state selection in both football and basketball in his junior year, but he shined brightest on the football field. Lock, 6 feet 3, threw for 3,062 yards and 35 touchdowns while leading Lee’s Summit to a 10-2 record one year after it finished with a losing record.
“I would definitely say that my label is a pocket passer,” Lock said. “But I feel like I can bring so much more to the University of Missouri and the college level. I can get out and make plays if I need to, if the pocket breaks down. That’s something I take pride in.”
Aside from following in his father’s footsteps, Lock pointed to Pinkel’s contract extension with Missouri as a primary factor in his decision.
In making his commitment 10 months before signing day, Lock said he hoped to provide a recruiting tool for the Tigers and said he had already exchanged text messages with potential recruits.
Andy Lock stressed Wednesday that the decision to commit to Missouri — and commit early — was solely Drew’s.
“I understand how important it was for me to take a step back,” Andy Lock said. “When he asked me for input, I gave him input. When I have to let him run with the ball, I let him run with it. He’s a mature kid. He did a very nice job of sorting through it.”
That doesn’t mean he wasn’t hoping for Columbia to be the landing spot.
“He made a great decision,” he said.