Former Monroe star Ricardo Lockette smiles during Deion Branch's annual youth camp in Albany this summer.
SAN FRANCISCO — Ricardo Lockette is headed to San Francisco.
The former Monroe star and Seattle Seahawks WR told The Herald in an exclusive interview Monday evening that he has signed with the San Francisco 49ers.
“I’m happy to have another opportunity to play football and am looking forward to making a long career with the 49ers,” Lockette said.
Lockette, who didn’t make the Seattle Seahawks’ 53-man roster this year after showing promise at the end of last season with Seattle, doesn’t know yet if he will be on the 49ers’ game-day roster or the practice squad.
“I’ll find that out this week,” Lockette said on his way back from New England, where he was meeting with the Patriots. “That will depend on a couple of other receivers, and they will let me know sometime in the next week.”
Lockette, however, will likely replace Nathan Palmer’s spot on the practice squad. Palmer, an undrafted receiver out of Northern Illinois, was claimed by the Colts on Monday and placed on Indianapolis’ 53-man roster.
The 49ers haven’t officially announced the addition of Lockette, and Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows reported that the 49ers, “typically won’t confirm a player has been acquired until the player passes a physical and signs his physical.”
After meeting with the Patriots, Lockette was on his way to Chicago to meet with the Bears before he got the call from San Francisco late Sunday.
Lockette tweeted his goodbye to Seattle on Monday.
“Boarding my flight I will miss #seattle so much but I very honored and proud to be an .....,” Lockette wrote on his Twitter account, @RicardoLockette.
Lockette was released from Seattle’s practice squad last week, fueling speculation that the speedy wideout was on his way to another team.
Lockette, however, remained coy about any possible destination with a series of tweets late Sunday.
“Stay tuned people it’s about to go down. ... News Alert coming #booom #NFL you’ll never guess this one,” Lockette tweeted.
Lockette then added: “Not tonight but ill let you know ASAP #Blessed who’s ready for #MNF !!!!!!!!”
Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate also indicated on his Twitter account that Lockette’s playing days for the Seahawks were over.
“@RicardoLockette good luck lock, until u play us,” Tate said in a tweet, which was removed soon after he published it late Sunday.
The 49ers (2-1) play at the New York Jets on Sunday.
The former Fort Valley State speedster won the 2009 NCAA Division II track & field national title in the 200 meters and wowed scouts at the NFL Combine, turning in a tie for the fastest 40-time for a receiver and fourth-fastest overall.
Lockette had just 23 catches for 262 yards and one touchdown with a 24-yard kick-return average during his senior year at FVSU, but he turned into a big-play receiver for the Seahawks during his rookie season last year.
He was signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent after the NFL lockout ended before the 2011-12 season and then moved from the practice squad to the 53-man roster as injuries to several Seattle receivers opened up a roster spot for him.
He played the final two games of the season and immediately made an impact with an acrobatic 44-yard catch against the 49ers in his NFL debut. He hauled in a 61-yard TD the following week against the Cardinals.
Lockette returned home to Albany in June to participate in fellow Monroe grad Deion Branch’s 7th annual Skills and Drills Football Camp.
Both Lockette and Branch, who was battling for a roster spot at New England, told The Herald in June that they were looking forward to the Oct. 14 game between Seattle and New England.
“It’s going to be crazy,” Branch said. “There is going to be a lot of media hype around it with myself going back to Seattle and having the opportunity to play against (Lockette). It’s going to be great. It’s a team thing. It’s not just me vs. Lock; it’s Seattle vs. the Patriots. But at the same time, we know everything that (it’s going to mean to us).”
Lockette also said he couldn’t wait for the game.
“I am excited,” he said. “I want to make (Seattle) proud, but I also want to make Deion proud.”
Lockette and Branch were both cut from their respective teams before the season started, putting a game between the two friends in serious jeopardy.
Turns out, they might get another shot.
Branch was re-signed by the Patriots last week after an injury to tight end Aaron Hernandez depleted New England’s roster.
The 49ers play the Patriots on Dec. 16 in New England. San Franciso also has a pair of games against NFC West rival Seattle — Oct. 18 and Dec. 23.