ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Former Monroe Tornado and current Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette came home for a day named in his honor.
March 22, 2015 was declared by Ricardo Lockette Day by the Albany Board of Commissioners, Dougherty County Board of Commissioners, Mayor Dorothy Hubbard and County Commissioner Chairman Jeff Sinyard.
Lockette calls it a day of Peace and Praise.
He hopes to continue the day each year, promoting non-violence, positive, or even as just a day for a cook out.
"It was just my first chance to do something for Albany, a way to change something," said Lockette. "I'm out of town a lot and I look on Facebook and all these different social media sites and I see all these different murders and fights and all this stuff with people that I went to school with. You know, people that I don't believe are those type of people."
This year, Lockette used it as a day to link up with the Peach State Health Plan to promote healthy living and staying active among kids. But he also wanted to show kids what's right."
"I figure that if we could reach the kids before they get to that stage, we can have a different outcome in Albany."
He also brought NFL pals like San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor and tight end coach Diego Dixon, who roomed with Lockette at Fort Valley State.
"I call them my brothers," said Lockette. "We do everything together. We work out together. We're a small successful circle."
Lockette said, by coming back and inviting his friends, he can show kids there is life beyond Albany and they too can achieve success.
And that, Lockette said, is what he loves to use his platform as an NFL star for most.
"My main goal is to come back and not be a speaker, not be someone that talks at them," said Lockette. "I want to be that big brother. I want to be, not the person that they shy away from or [just] can I have an autograph. But [rather], 'hey, Ricardo, I saw you do this and that. Why did you do that?' Whether it's right or wrong, I want to be able to explain what I did."
Lockette said he will continue to make himself available to young people whenever he is in town.
As for his life with the Seahawks, Lockette said he is looking forward a new year, meeting new teammates like Jimmy Graham and finishing where his team left off in 2015.
"I'm looking forward to a better season," said Lockette, smiling. "And finishing one yard better."