Since taking over as the tight ends coach, in addition to being Clemson’s offensive coordinator, Tony Elliott has made sure to recruit some of the nation’s top tight ends.
One of those tight ends is Thompson’s Station (TN.) Independence 2023 four-star Ty Lockwood, who has remained on Elliott’s radar after his visit to Clemson earlier last month.
Lockwood (6-5, 225) is the No. 3 ranked prospect in the state of Tennessee and No. 4 tight end prospect in the Class of 2023, per 247Sports Composite.
He hasn’t been hearing much from Clemson lately. He has the ability to reach out to the coaching staff but says the Tigers are really strict on following the rules, which he absolutely respects a lot.
“As soon as Sept. 1 hits my junior year, we’ll be able to talk,” Lockwood told The Clemson Insider. “They stand by that. I’m trying to get a call here with them soon and I’ll probably have to set it up.”
Once Lockwood is able to get on the phone with Elliott, he’ll ask about when would be a good time for him to get up for a game this season.
“That’s definitely something I want to do because that was a great school to get out to,” he said. “They’re top-notch at everything they do. If I could get out there for a game or a visit on a day, that would be great.”
Since his visit, Lockwood has been left impressed with one of the best programs in the nation.
“Even though I don’t have the offer, they’re going to be high on the list no matter what,” Lockwood said. “It’s a great school, they’re great people, obviously they’re a great team. When I was there, I was getting to know the coaches there, every single one was just a great dude.
“I thought it was kind of cool how Dabo, he hired them all himself and he knows every single one’s background, where they came from and what they do for him. Right there, I could kind of see the brotherhood piece in the whole entire program, so that was good for me to see.”
That’s exactly what Lockwood is looking for at the next level — a brotherhood.
In addition to Clemson, he also made stops at South Carolina, Ohio State and Michigan this summer. Based on some of his visits, Lockwood has been able to lock down some of the more important factors that he’s looking for in a school at the next level.
“Like I was just saying, the brotherhood piece is going to be easily one of the top parts of it,” he said. “I went to a couple of schools and I saw it right away, I saw the brotherhood piece and I definitely bumped those up a little bit. I also went to some schools that didn’t have it and I kind of knocked those ones off the list. That’s probably the biggest piece for me, having a brotherhood.”
A big piece of advice that he’s consistently heard from coaches around the country is to make his decision for the next 40 years, not the next four. Obviously, academics will hold a major part in Lockwood’s decision.
“It’s doing pretty good,” Lockwood said of his recruitment process. “It started to get a little bit crazy in June, so I kind of had to get control of that at the end, but it’s been pretty great since.”
Right now, Lockwood is focused on winning a State Championship. He’s a team player, first and foremost, and wants to make sure all the guys around him are getting better.
As for Lockwood himself, he’s focused on improving his speed and explosiveness. He also characterized himself as a “decent blocker,” but says he could definitely be better.
With that being said, what are his strengths as a tight end?
“Getting open in space in the passing game and also I’m able to peel off a block in the run game,” Lockwood said. “Like I was saying, get open and I can be a safety blanket for my quarterback. If I’m running a route and I can break off of it, find a soft spot and you can hit me right there. In the running game, if there’s a block that needs to be made, I can make it, obviously.
“That’s what you got to do as a tight end and I try to make myself as complete as I can be and with that, you have to run block, pass block and you gotta be a receiver too.”