Aztec Stat of the Week: Kickoff Return Records

In San Diego State’s 21-19 win over Boise State, wide receiver Colin Lockett returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown (Ernie Anderson/SDSU Media Relations)

In San Diego State’s monumental victory over conference-foe Boise State on Saturday, Aztec wide receiver Colin Lockett set the tone from the start when he returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.

It was Lockett’s second kickoff return touchdown of the season, and third of his career. No other Aztec player has ever returned more than one kickoff for a touchdown.

On top of holding the records for kickoff return touchdowns, Lockett is now chasing two other kickoff return records: career yardage and single-season yardage.

In the game, Lockett had 141 yards on three returns, and moved to third all-time in school history for most career kickoff return yards. He also moved to third all-time for most kickoff return yards in a season.

Most Kickoff Return Yards, Career

Following Saturday’s game, Lockett has 1,385 kickoff return yards in his career, the third-highest total in Aztec history.

He sits behind Darnay Scott and Monty Gilbreath, two former Aztec wide receivers who also served as returners on kickoffs.

In second place is Scott, who played at SDSU from 1991-1993. In just three seasons, he recorded 1,397 return yards on 64 returns. Arguably one of the best wide receivers in school history, he also ranks second in career receiving yards with 3,139 yards and seventh in career receptions with 178.

Following his time at SDSU, Scott was selected in the second round of the 1994 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals and had an impressive professional career. In eight seasons, he tallied 408 receptions for 6,193 yards and 37 touchdowns.

Gilbreath, who played at SDSU from 1986-1989, holds the school record for most kickoff return yards. In his four seasons with the Aztecs, he had 1,505 yards on 74 returns.

Gilbreath wasn’t just a kickoff return specialist, however, as he also ranks fifth in school history in career receptions (187) and tenth in career receiving yards (2,241). He also returned punts, and ranks second in school history with 835 punt return yards.

Assuming a bowl game is imminent, Lockett needs 121 kickoff return yards in the final three games to surpass Gilbreath. He would need to average just over 40 yards per game to break the record, a very reachable number considering he is averaging over 70 yards per game this season.

Most Kickoff Return Yards, Season

Not only is Lockett nearing the record for most career kickoff return yards, but he is also close to breaking the single-season record. Through 10 games, Lockett now has 707 yards on 27 returns this season, which currently ranks him third all-time at SDSU.

Gilbreath, the career yards leader, also holds the record for most kickoff return yards in a season, as he notched 880 yards on 40 returns in 1987.

Patrick Rowe, a wide receiver at SDSU from 1987-1991, ranks second with his mark of 799 yards in 1988. Like Scott and Gilbreath, Rowe is also amongst the school leaders in career receiving yards and career receptions. He ranks eighth and sixth all-time, respectively, with 155 receptions for 2,678 yards.

Lockett needs 174 kickoff return yards in the final three games to break Gilbreath’s single-season record.

Former Aztec wide receiver Darnay Scott, who played in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals, is amongst the school leaders in kickoff return yardage (Associated Press)

 

Did you miss last week’s “Stat of the Week” post about tight end records? Check it out here!


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by Hunter Hewitt

GO AZTECS

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