Former Howland QB back in action

Eric Lockney didn’t let a little hiccup in his football dream deter him.

The 2013 Howland High School graduate was slated to play for Youngstown State University as a walk on.

“A few weeks before the season, the YSU recruiting coordinator said I was a math credit short,” Lockney said. “I would’ve had to take that math credit and a following one and walk on the following year.”

That wasn’t an option for the 19-year-old Lockney.

On March 14, the former Tiger quarterback took matters into his own hands. He attended a tryout for the newly formed Rivals Professional Football League in Akron at the Stile Field House.

Lockney’s performance impressed those evaluating talent. He received one of 41 invites to this month’s draft.

“Fortunately, I was selected for it,” he said.

Lockney showed his talents that made him a second-team 2012 Northeast Inland All-District performer. He went to the NFL-style combine, hoping to show he could be an accurate and effective passer.

“Howland was a run-first, pass-second offense,” Lockney said. “It was definitely a change. I expect to throw the ball a little bit more than we did in high school.”

Lockney, who currently works at Global Fitness and is a volunteer fireman in Howland, will be drafted from one of four teams – the Akron Blaze, Detroit Cougars, Chicago Kings or the Southern Michigan Mustangs.

The inaugural draft of the Rivals Professional Football League will take place on April 26 at Mount Clemens High School in Mount Clemens, Mich. at 4 p.m.

The draft will consist of 10 rounds with 20 selections per round.

“Either way, this is the beginning of a professional career,” Lockney said. “It’s a great opportunity. I see this was created for players like me that college didn’t work out for one reason or another. This is a developmental league that can lead to the CFL or NFL.

“Hopefully, I can reach that level some day.”