Alabama’s Michael Locksley brings discipline, humor to wide receivers

Alabama wide receivers coach Michael Locksley calling out plays for WRs at the 2017 A-Day Game: Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Regardless of not getting the offensive coordinator position prior to Brian Daboll’s arrival, Michael Locksley is already becoming a pivotal component for next season’s Alabama football team.

He served as offensive coordinator at both the University of Illinois and University of Maryland, before getting hired to Nick Saban’s staff in 2016 as an analyst. Although his coaching career started on defense, Locksley has spent the last 20 years on the offensive side of the ball.

During spring practice, his combination of teachings and toughness began to sink in for a talented group of wide receivers. The trio of Calvin Ridley, Robert Foster and Jerry Jeudy each recorded 100-plus yards receiving on A-Day.

“Coach Locksley is really cool,” junior Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley said during Southeastern Conference media days on Wednesday. “He’s really funny. We have fun with him during wide receiver meetings, but we also work hard.”

Even with Ridley’s appreciation for ex-Tide wide receivers coach Billy Napier, who’s now the offensive coordinator at Arizona State University, the Florida native said Locksley is more disciplined.

“Coach Locksley gets on us more,” Ridley said. “He works us more. I like him a lot.”

Now a co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach, he inherits a roster filled with perimeter talent.

Locksley has mentored some huge names in his tenure, including Arrelious Bend of Illinois and Stephen Diggs of Maryland. A native of Washington D.C., he coached both players into being game-changing targets, while placing them in the National Football League.

Stephen M. Smith is a managing editor and senior writer foTouchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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