"It's going good so far. So far, so good," Lockhart said. "I feel like I played all right. I still have some work to do individually on my part."
"All right" for Lockhart meant that the early Scout.com four-star for 2015 was credited with nine tackles and a forced fumble. Lockhart credited his increased explosiveness — in the offseason he trimmed his 40 time to a quick 4.72 seconds and his shuttle to an absurd 3.94 seconds despite weighing 250 pounds — with making things easier on the field.
"I feel like I'm more explosive off the line of scrimmage," Lockhart said. "I hope I can make more plays this year, but it's still early in the season. I just want to keep improving on my game moving forward."
If he does, it could make a talented Ennis team that much more deadly. The Lions finished 9-3 in 2012 and fell in the playoffs to a talented Whitehouse squad. But with players like Lockhart and fellow four-star in 2014 running back (and Baylor commitment) Terence Williams, Ennis could be in for a really strong season in 2013. The Lions won their first game against Burleson Centennial 43-14.
"I feel like we have a chance to make it to state," Lockhart said. "Hopefully everybody plays their part. If we all play together, we could possibly be playing for a state championship."
Off the field, things are also going well for the Ennis pass-rusher. Anybody following Lockhart on Twitter Monday night saw that the end was hyped up for his first phone call with the Alabama staff, who told him to call in at 9 p.m.
"It was breathtaking, I guess you could say," Lockhart said. "I wouldn't even imagine Alabama would even be interested in me."
Lockhart said he talked with Crimson Tide wide receivers coach Billy Napier, who helps to recruit the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
"He said that he likes me, and that he likes my film and what I bring to the table," Lockhart said. "He invited my family and me to come up and visit Tuscaloosa, and said that Nick Saban and the defensive line coach [Chris Rumph] would continue to recruit me a little more."
While Lockhart didn't receive an offer on Monday, he said he left feeling like if he continued to improve, an offer could be coming. What would he think of that offer, if it came?
"Alabama is my No. 1 school, and it's pretty much a dream school that I could go to," Lockhart said. "I don't know what I'll do if the offer comes, but I would have to say I would seriously consider it."
Seven schools have already offered Lockhart, and of those seven, he said three — Texas, Texas A&M and TCU — stood out from the rest. He talked about each of those three.
Texas — "They treat me and my family really well. I've visited there four or five times now, and I really like the chemistry and the way they treat everyone around there. They treat you with respect. I feel like I fit into their program really well. Me and [defensive ends] Coach [Oscar] Giles were just talking, and he said I could possibly get some playing time as a freshman, and that sounded really good to me. I'd love a chance to touch the field early."
Texas A&M — "Texas A&M is in the SEC, which is where I would like to play ball at. At the same time, it's not too far from home. I like the chemistry, and the coaches are cool. [Defensive line] Coach [Terry] Price has been coaching for awhile and he's put a lot of defensive linemen in the league."
TCU — "TCU is really good as well. I talked to Coach Gary Patterson and he seemed like he was really interested in me. They were telling me that he that the coaching staff wanted me really strongly. And they told me the same thing as Texas, that I could get playing time as a freshman. Plus, Fort Worth is only 35-40 minutes from Ennis."
Lockhart was supposed to catch TCU's game against LSU last weekend, but wasn't able to make it because of transportation issues.
"I did get to watch the game at home," Lockhart said. "I really enjoyed it."
Still, he plans to head to Baylor for a game this weekend and then travel to College Station for Texas A&M-Alabama the weekend after. Lockhart said he'll likely try to make a TCU game, and added that the Texas coach Mack Brown "has invited me to every home game."
Ennis defensive end and top 2015 Texas target James Lockhart talks about his expectations for the season and how his recruiting is going.