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Gilman QB Kai Locksley tries on WR role at Under Armour All-America game

When Gilman's Kai Locksley was invited to the Under Armour All-America High School Football Game, he knew he would have to play receiver instead of quarterback, but he gladly accepted the invitation anyway.

After a few days at practice in Florida, gearing up for Friday afternoon's game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Locksley has settled into his new -- although not permanent -- role.

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After Tuesday's practice, Josh Newberg of the recruiting web site 247Sports, called Locksley one of the most improved players on the second day of practice. He posted a video on Twitter of Locksley catching a 20-yard touchdown pass from fellow Florida State commit Deondre Francois in 11-on-11 practice Tuesday.

Locksley, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound senior, was recruited by Florida State as a quarterback and has said he wants to play that position, but Gilman assistant coach Henry Russell said Under Armour officials told Locksley when they invited him to the game that they already had their quarterbacks but they wanted him as a receiver.

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"They came to us and said we want Kai to be part of the game as a receiver not quarterback, would he want to play?" Russell said. "Obviously, Kai wants to play quarterback, but he didn't want to pass up the chance to compete with the best.

"A lot of people think it's the top All-American game right now, so to have a chance to go down there and get to know different kids he's heard about and seen on Twitter and different [social media] sites and compete with them even though it's not his natural position, he didn't want to pass that up. I think it shows a lot of character on his part, going against some of the top cornerbacks in the country when he hasn't taken a rep as a wide receiver since his sophomore year."

Locksley is rated the No. 17 senior dual-threat quarteback in the nation by Rivals.com. This past season, he ran for 1,050 yards and 17 touchdowns and passed for 915 yards and five touchdowns as the No. 4 Greyhounds went 8-3 and earned a share of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title.

Russell said the athleticism that makes Locksley such a versatile quarterback and a three-sport standout had a lot to do with his selection to the Under Armour game at a position he hasn't played in two years. Locksley is the leading scorer on the Greyhounds' basketball team and also competes in the 200 meters, the triple jump and the long jump for the track team.

"I think it's just how many things Kai can do," Russell said. "With his combination of size and speed and overall athleticism, Kai's on a special level. The Under Armour people saw that, and it's a nice way to cap off a really good career."

Locksley is the fifth Greyhounds player to compete in the Under Armour game in five years following Darius Jennings (Virginia), Cyrus Jones Jr. (Alabama), Henry Poggi (Michigan) and Melvin Keihn (Virginia Tech).

The Under Armour All-America Game will be televised on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. Friday.

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