COLUMBIA — Drew Lock has long dreamed of playing football under the lights in Columbia.
Now a senior starting quarterback at Lee's Summit High School, the Missouri commit will get his first crack at that on Friday as his squad takes on Hickman High School.
The game will offer glimpses of what might be his first of many special nights in the city.
Andy Lock, Drew Lock's father, played for Missouri as an offensive lineman in the 1980s. The younger Lock said he attended nearly every Missouri home game last season, and he has come to several games each year for most of his life.
“Mizzou was pretty much a religion at my house growing up,” Drew Lock said. “Obviously, I’m focusing on this senior season first, but the first chance I get to be in Columbia, I’m going to compete."
Despite not receiving pressure from his family about where to commit, Lock said there was a sense of excitement when he made his decision.
“It was definitely a positive from all family and friends,” he said. “(My dad) told me from the beginning that he wasn’t going to force me one way. I definitely respect him for that.”
Lock, who is set to graduate in May from the same high school as current Missouri third-string quarterback Corbin Berkstresser, said he received his first offer from Missouri during his sophomore year. He verbally committed to the school in April.
“Like I said when I committed, the coaching staff is very loyal," he said. "They always stay in touch and they have treated me like I am on the team already.”
Setting the bar high
Lock said his goals during the season are geared toward his team rather than his future.
“As people well know around Lee’s Summit, we had a really good team last year,” he said. “My goal is to be better than that team. Going on to state would definitely be the overall goal there.”
Coming off an appearance in the 2013 Class 6 state quarterfinals and a 10-2 record , Lee’s Summit is 1-0 to start this season. The Tigers beat Truman High School 81-42 last Friday, and Lock threw for 343 yards and six touchdowns before being pulled in the third quarter by coach Eric Thomas.
Lock racked up 3,062 passing yards along with 35 touchdowns during his junior campaign. He was invited to Elite 11 football camp during the summer, where he learned from nationally known coaches and professional players such as Cleveland Browns quarterback and former Heisman winner Johnny Manziel.
“There was a ton of good coaches there, and every day, you learned something new,” Lock said. “Being out there really helped me in the small aspects of my game that I never have really focused on.”
His reputation grew after the camp. He is a four-star recruit and the No. 6 quarterback in his class, according to Rivals.com, and 247Sports.com pegs him as the No. 4 quarterback in the country and No. 120 recruit in the nation overall.
In the spotlight
Thomas said he has been impressed with how Lock has handled the publicity that comes from making a college commitment.
"(Drew) has kept himself pretty humble about this," he said. "Nothing really ever fazes him. I’m confident by the time he gets out of here and continues to work through the spring and in the summer, he’ll be ready to get rolling.”
Lock’s teammates have noticed consistency with how he acts in all facets of life.
“His personality is the same on and off the field,” Austin Pace, a senior linebacker at Lee’s Summit and longtime friend of Drew Lock, said. “(He is) always calm and having a good time."
Long gone are the days when nobody has an eye on Lock.
Hickman coach Arnel Monroe said his team has been busy preparing for the offense it will face on Friday.
"We've got to work to create some confusion with our coverages," he said. "We've got to get after ( Lock) a little bit with our blitz. Everything flows through him."
But for now, Lock said he is just looking forward playing a football game in Columbia.
“Hopefully we’ll see some Tiger shirts in the stands,” he said.
Supervising editor is Sean Morrison.