The Maneater

Family members talk about Lock ahead of his final Homecoming game

Lock’s father, sister reflect on the MU fan-turned-quarterback.

Missouri quarterback Drew Lock throws warm up passes before Missouri's eventual 43-29 loss to then-No. 2 Georgia on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.

The most popular Halloween costumes of 2008 included some memorable characters, such as Iron Man, The Joker and Hannah Montana. Eleven-year-old Drew Lock had other ideas.

Lock dressed as a Mizzou football player that year.

“It was kind of funny actually,” Drew’s sister, Claire Lock, said.

She’ll never forget that Halloween and just how big of a Missouri fan her older brother was because of it.

Now almost a decade later, as Lock puts on real pads instead of a costume, he’ll lead the Tigers into a weekend matchup with Memphis that’ll be preceded by the annual Missouri Homecoming festivities, adorning MU’s campus with both literal and metaphorical spirit.

However, it’s likely just more preparation time for Lock and Mizzou football. At least that’s what Andy Lock, Drew’s father, would tell you.

“I don’t mean this to sound bad,” Andy Lock said, “but it’s kind of another game [for the players] … Whether it’s a homecoming game or the game before or the game after, it’s still a game that you have to prepare for, so the festivities normally don’t affect the players as much as they impact the people coming to the game and celebrating together.”

It’s certainly something Andy Lock is familiar with. As an offensive lineman for Mizzou in the late ‘80s, he had his fair share of Homecoming games. And while the legacy of the nationally-known tradition that began in mid-Missouri may not have a huge effect on those playing in the big game come Saturday, that doesn’t mean it can’t be looked forward to for spectators and alumni. Andy sure is looking forward to it.

“Obviously Homecoming’s a huge deal at Mizzou,” Andy said. “It’s the best … that’s the time when the people that maybe don’t necessarily come to all the games make an effort to come back ... and they know that’s the best chance to kind of rekindle friendships and see people they haven’t seen for 25, 30 years … We’re looking forward to getting down there.”

But for Andy, this week’s game will mean a little more than most, as it’ll be Drew’s final Homecoming game as the starting quarterback of the Missouri Tigers.

And while Drew may be at helm of an SEC offense, he wasn’t always the QB1 so many Missouri faithful have come to know over the last three years. The eventual NFL Draft pick was, indeed, a young, diehard MU fan like many –the same one that went from door-to-door on Halloween of 2008 dressed as a player from his favorite school.

As much as Drew’s father pushed his kids to bleed black and gold, he felt it was something ingrained into the world around them and particularly something his son took to.

“I would think 100 out of 100 [parents] would want their kids to follow in their footsteps [as a fan] … and that was, you know, it was pretty easy just because he was around it so much … He was a big Mizzou fan from day one, and his room was all decked out in Mizzou stuff … it was a good scenario, and it worked out well.”

Drew Lock made it clear after Tuesday’s practice that, as a player, this week’s game shouldn’t be looked at as “something out of the ordinary,” but, much like his father, he was adamant to acknowledge just how important the tradition of Homecoming is to both the university and the Columbia community.

“Homecoming means a lot to me, and I know it means a lot to this town,” the quarterback said. “A lot of people are back. A lot of people come to support. So it does carry some weight … You like playing well and performing well on Homecoming.”

However, there’s one person in the stands who Drew may be thinking of a little extra against Memphis this week. After all, that person will be thinking of him too.

“It’ll be tough man,” Andy said, “It’ll be – not only is it his last homecoming game, but they’re halfway through his senior season ... I’m sentimental at every game, but this’ll be a little extra sentimental for me being the last Homecoming because, sure, we’ll be at Homecoming next year, and we’ll be at Homecoming the next year, but he won’t be in a Tiger uniform, so that’ll be a lot different.”

Edited by Bennett Durando | bdurando@themaneater.com

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