Woodberry Forest QB Ben Locklear (Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit804)
Ben Locklear is working hard and keeping his hopes up
by Marc Goldstein, recruitNoVA
Benjamin Locklear (2021 QB 6-5 222), rising senior quarterback at Woodberry Forest High School in Madison County, Virginia is continuing to be positive as it pertains to his future. At the Gameday Camp, he talked about some of the good things going for him as far as his recruiting goes, and everything that has been impacted with Covid-19.
“It’s nice to see a lot of friendly faces. Guys i know, guys i played against, it’s just nice to see people again. With Coronavirus and everything that came with it, it’s been hard for us to really have camps and showcases, but this is a great opportunity to get out here and compete,” Ben says.
It is obvious how difficult it has been to get work in for quarterbacks especially, but Ben has made the most of the things he has been able to get done. He says,” With Phase 1, it was really hard to get out and throw with a wide receiver, but getting body weight stuff at home and throwing into a net, throwing with my dad, I’ve made due.” The biggest question for athletes of all sports, ages, skill levels will be how to shake off the rust that has come from not playing against live competition for months on end. Ben talks about how he has dealt with this challenge, saying, “I didn’t really throw to a receiver for around a month and a half, but once I did, it took a few throws to get back into the swing of things.”
When it comes to recruiting, it has become evident that everyone was affected by this, both big time recruits and lesser known recruits. Ben is no exception to this. He explains, “This has been a really weird time for me. I had a lot of camps, and showcases for me scheduled that got canceled due to the virus, and I just feel like I lost a lot of time. This season, I was invited to a lot of camps, visits, and visits with coaches, so of course they were all canceled, but this is a great opportunity for me to get out here and show what I can do.“
When Ben talks about his past successes and failures as it concerns past seasons, he is very upfront with how he feels both he and his team grew. “At the beginning of the year, we were really young, but towards the end of the season, we got some more experience, and got into a bit of a groove,” Ben explains. Similarly, Ben has experienced a growth in his level of play, saying, “When I was a freshman and sophomore, I really relied on my talent and arm strength alone to carry me, but now, I use them and also watch film, work hard, and do all the little things right to prepare for games.”
The first thing anyone notices about Ben is his size. Standing at a towering six feet, five inches, and 222 LBS, Ben stands out already due to his size. This can be a big advantage for a player. The first quarterback that comes to mind when thinking of a taller quarterback is Ben Roethlisberger, who won a Super Bowl and seems destined for the Hall of Fame with the Steelers. Ben talked about how his height helps him, saying, “The big phrase that comes with a guy like me is pocket passer. I don’t have to scramble to see receivers. I have an easy time looking over the line, not having to peek through holes, and not being forced to sidearm throws. It’s also good for pressure because I can take hits, and still get the ball out on deeper routes.”
Woodberry Forest is an all boys school with an enrollment of 393 students. It is a private school that is for grades 9-12. Ben talks about some of the pros and cons of going to a private school like Woodberry.
“Education is a lot harder, you definitely have to grind it out in the classroom more. That’s why I’m there, I’m there to get a good education. The scheduling is a lot harder, I don’t have as much time to work out. That just means you have to make time. I have to wake up at six in the morning to go lift or six in the morning in the cold to get some throws in,” Ben explains.
Ben also talks about the possibility of having a season. Unlike most schools in Virginia, Woodberry Forest is not under VHSL jurisdiction as a private school. There is a chance that they have a season, but Ben warns about not getting his hopes up too much with everything getting canceled.
Ben Locklear only has one offer, but he expects the number of suitors for his talents will increase in the coming months. Whether he has a senior season or not, he will do everything in his power to maximize his talents to get as many offers as he can. That is all a coach would ask for from his player: do your best and leave it all out on the field. Ben will do that and more, which makes his future and potential so much more exciting for him and those around him.
– Marc Goldstein