2014-01-29 / Front Page

From Burke County to the Bowl

Midville native packs a punch for Seattle
By Anne Marie Kyzer


Ricardo Lockette made headlines when he plowed over the Rams' punt returner Justin Veltung back in December. Ricardo Lockette made headlines when he plowed over the Rams' punt returner Justin Veltung back in December. When the Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos Sunday in Super Bowl XLVIII, one hardhitting Hawk born in Burke County will be on the field.

Ricardo Lockette, now 27 and a weapon on Seattle’s special teams, spent the early part of his childhood in the Cobbtown community just outside of Midville. He was raised there by his uncle Arthur “AJ” and aunt Agnes Jones while his mother, Falita Cobb Lockette, was finishing her college degree in Albany. Attending S.R. Dinkins Elementary School in Midville, Lockette lived in Burke County until he moved to Albany during the first grade.

“We got him when he was three months old and kept him until he was six or seven,” Mr. Jones recalls, relishing those years as he and his wife were without children of their own. “He’s my boy. He always includes us on Father’s Day and Mother’s Day.”

Mrs. Jones says she’s so proud to see Ricardo excel and remembers him wanting to do big things even when he was small.

“When he was coming up, he would say 'I’m gonna learn to ride my bike one day so I can go some place,'” she says, laughing as she retells the story of the day he learned to peddle on his own. “It’s a great pleasure to know God has blessed him to be where he is today. He always had an urge to really do something.”

During his teenage years, Ricardo excelled in football and track at Monroe High School and then later at Fort Valley State University where he won a Division II National Championship in the 200 meters.

That speed is what’s led to his nickname, “The Rocket.”

It’s also what’s made him a premiere special teams player for the Seahawks. While he’s spent the major part of his career as a wide receiver, he’s found his strength over the past couple of months making big hits on punt returns. In two instances, he flattened the punt returners before they ever had a chance to take off.


Far left, Agnes Jones hugs her nephew Ricardo Lockette during a family gathering in Midville on one of his most recent visits. At left, AJ Jones proudly displays some of his memorabilia. The Joneses say he always pays them a visit during the off-season. Far left, Agnes Jones hugs her nephew Ricardo Lockette during a family gathering in Midville on one of his most recent visits. At left, AJ Jones proudly displays some of his memorabilia. The Joneses say he always pays them a visit during the off-season. For Lockette, Sunday’s game will be a return trip to the Super Bowl but his first chance to be a part of the action.

He initially signed with the Seahawks in 2011 but was then signed to San Francisco’s practice squad where he was this time last year. After a short stint with Chicago, he returned to Seattle and seems to have found his niche.

“He’s very excited,” his uncle says. “He has two national championship rings now, and he’s got a chance to win a Super Bowl ring.”

Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Jones seem just as thrilled to see him succeed.

“My wife never watched football before,” AJ says, grinning and shaking his head. “Now, she’s fussing at the TV the whole game.”

Return to top