Carlos Locklyn Ohio State Running Backs Coach

‘Great Place, Great People,’ Carlos Locklyn Excited To Be A Buckeye

Carlos Locklyn couldn’t hide his excitement. He didn’t even try.

It was a few weeks back. Locklyn was getting out of bed to start his day when he got a text from Ohio State head coach Ryan Day.

“I shook my wife and I was like, ‘Look at this.’ She was like, ‘I don’t know who that is. Let me get my glasses,'” he smiled. “So I was excited. Like a kid on Christmas. I’m like, ‘Okay, well, I wonder what does he want?’ It was a pretty exciting text. Then I called him just to talk to him, I was pretty excited.”

Those talks eventually led to Day hiring “Coach Lock” as Ohio State’s new running backs coach.

The excitement and energy from Locklyn were readily apparent in his first media session with reporters on Wednesday. He expressed his happiness with the position, but never strayed far from the seriousness with which he takes the responsibility of being a coach.

Locklyn left an established career as a corrections officer less than a decade ago to begin a path toward coaching because he believed that it would provide him a better opportunity to impact young men.

“I’m pretty excited,” he reiterated. “This has been a journey. I’m pretty sure most people have read about my story since 2017, getting into college football. I have to pinch myself every morning that I’m here in Columbus at Ohio State. It’s kind of surreal for me. Great place, great people. Great young men. So I’m excited just by being here.”

Ryan Day was not the first head coach to reach out to Locklyn, gauging his interest in leaving Oregon. He was the most effective one, however, as Locklyn is now in Scarlet and Gary.

All You Need Is Love

This is just Carlos Locklyn’s fourth year as a full-time position coach, but he’s been around the game for far longer than that. A former running back himself, he has proven to be an effective teacher during his career.

Former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel once said that players don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. The Buckeye running backs currently on the roster won’t have to wait long to figure that part out.

“I get the best out of them because I love the young men,” Locklyn said. “My main focus is to change the hearts and minds of them and they’ll play for me. I just got through reading Coach Tressel’s The Winners Manual, and there’s something that I took from that book. You have your purpose and you have your goals. My purpose is to serve and pour into to the young men. Now my goals as a football coach, all of them will take care of themselves. I’m just really relationship-based, and I’m very detailed at the position.”

The details are where Locklyn spends most of his time. Too often the running back position in college is manned by recruiters more than coaches. It’s a fact that has bothered Locklyn for years, and he’s never been shy about expressing his feelings on it.

“I know y’all heard me say it before and I’m gonna keep saying it, this is the worst-coached position in football. It’s terrible,” he said. “Guys hire anybody to coach this position if they can recruit. Carlos Locklyn is not a recruiter. I’m an elite relationship builder. When I coach this position, I’m a ball coach. So that’s who I am. So I’m gonna pour into these kids. I think they’re kind of seeing it now. I jumped in day one. I’m ready to coach.”

Now And Then

When most new coaches arrive on the scene they will go through a process of assessing their personnel, figuring out what they have in their room, and how to go about getting more out of it.

This can be a lengthy process of film study, conversations, on-field observations, and just prolonged information gathering.

That’s not necessarily going to be the case for Carlos Locklyn, who is already well acquainted with Ohio State running backs Quinshon Judkins, TreVeyon Henderson, and James Peoples.

What does he already know about his new group of tailbacks?

“Well, me being a guy that loves the running back position, I already broke those kids down because I recruited them out of high school,” Locklyn said. “Q is from where I’m from — Montgomery. I was one of the first guys to offer him. Just watching him, great contact balance, creative runner, great hands. And Trey, I recruited him out of Virginia. Exceptional short-area burst and quickness and things I’m helping him get better on.”

There are a couple of new faces for him, however. Freshman Sam Williams-Dixon and redshirt sophomore walk-on TC Caffey are both Ohio kids who never hit Locklyn’s radar.

“I recruited James Peoples out of out of San Antonio, Texas, I knew what he was gonna be,” Locklyn said. “Now TC and Sam, those two kids I’m getting to know, and I’m going to help them improve their game. But we’ve got different runners in there. I’m in love with this position, so I get to break down runners and help their game. So talented, talented. Very talented.”

Carlos Locklyn expresses his excitement for being at Ohio State and looks forward to improving a very talented running back room.

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