Jeff Locke (American football)

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Jeff Locke
refer to caption
Locke with the Minnesota Vikings
No. 18 Minnesota Vikings
Position: Punter
Personal information
Date of birth: (1989-09-27) September 27, 1989 (age 27)
Place of birth: Frankfurt, Germany
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 209 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school: Glendale (AZ) Mountain Ridge
College: UCLA
NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 5 / Pick: 155
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • First-team All-Pac-12 (2012)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 11, 2016
Punts: 268
Punting Yards: 11,678
Punt Average: 43.6
Longest Punt: 72
Player stats at NFL.com

Jeffrey Ryan Locke (born September 27, 1989) is an American football punter for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL).[1] He played college football at UCLA, and was drafted by the Vikings as the 155th overall pick in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.[2]

High School career[edit]

Locke attended Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Arizona, where he played football for coach Bobby Green as a punter, kicker, and wide receiver. As a senior, Locke averaged 43.6 yards on 38 punts with 10 inside the 20-yard line, kicked 47 touchbacks on 54 kickoffs, converted 29 of 32 extra point attempts, and made 11 of 20 field goals. He set school records for most field goals in a season (11), longest punt (71 yards), and longest field goal (63 yards, a state record).[3] For his efforts, Locke was ranked No. 1 kicker by ESPN.com and No. 1 nationally at punter by scout.com.

College career[edit]

Locke punting at the Rose Bowl in 2010.

Locke attended the University of California, Los Angeles and played for the UCLA Bruins football team from 2008 to 2012. He did not see action in his first year but later became UCLA's starting punter and kickoff specialist for four seasons. He made 53 career starts with a punting average of 44.23, No. 2 in UCLA history. Locke also had a 42.54% touchback rate on kickoffs. In 2011, Locke took over for field goal and extra point duties in a few games following an injury to UCLA's starting placekicker. He went 2-3 on field goals, connecting from 49 and 51 as well as converting 6 of 9 extra point attempts. In his senior year, Locke was named first-team All-Pac-12, earned first-team all-conference academic team honors, selected to play in the Senior Bowl college all-star game, and earned the Captain's Award.

Professional career[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

Locke signing autographs at the Vikings' training camp in 2014 with placekicker Blair Walsh.

Following a successful collegiate career, Locke was drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. This made Locke the highest-picked punter in franchise history. NFL senior analyst Gil Brandt said that Locke, a left-footed punter, "is every bit as good as Bryan Anger," the punter selected in the third round by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2012 NFL Draft.[4] Locke was also noted for his kickoff abilities, having led the NCAA in touchbacks his senior year.

Minnesota Vikings[edit]

After competing with the Vikings' current punter, veteran Chris Kluwe (8 seasons), Locke earned the starting job as Kluwe was released on May 6, 2013.[5] It is speculated that this move was made in order to make more room for the salary cap, as Kluwe was due 1.45 million in 2013.

Minnesota Vikings Franchise Records[edit]

  • Longest average net punt in a career (200 punts minimum): 38.9 (2013–present)

Personal[edit]

Locke "got hooked on punting" after attending a camp run by former NFL punter Ray Guy when he was in high school.[6]

He listed former NFL punter Daniel Sepulveda as one of his most admirable players.

Locke graduated from UCLA with a grade-point average of 3.885 and a bachelor's degree in economics. While at school, he spent some of his time researching athletic scholarships and helped his teammates set up personal budgets.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Minnesota Vikings: Jeff Locke". Minnesota Vikings. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  2. ^ UCLA punter Jeff Locke taken by Vikings in fifth round of draft - Los Angeles Times
  3. ^ Jeff Locke Bio - UCLA Official Athletic Site
  4. ^ Brandt, Gil (March 14, 2013). "UCLA's Jonathan Franklin has outstanding pro day". NFL.com. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  5. ^ Seifert, Kevin (May 6, 2013). "Chris Kluwe cut by Vikings". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  6. ^ Jeff Locke [jefflocke18] (8 August 2015). "The one and only Ray Guy! Got hooked on punting after attending a camp he ran in HS" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  7. ^ Goessling, Ben (May 23, 2013). "Minnesota Vikings' new punter Jeff Locke a social crusader in his own right". Twin Cities. Minneapolis: Twin Cities Sports. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 

External links[edit]