SANTA CLARA — Ricardo Lockette already is Colin Kaepernick's favorite target — at least when it comes to getting home-schooled in NFL terminology while sharing a house 2 miles from the 49ers facility.
“Say if I'm in the shower and he's walking down the hall, he'll yell, 'Hey Lock, what do you have on so-and-so?' And I'll say, 'I've got a go (route),'” Lockette said earlier this week. “It's 24/7 learning, and just making it fun for each other.”
Lockette, a member of last season's practice squad, might be the most intriguing candidate to step up on a receiving corps that has lost Michael Crabtree to an Achilles' tear.
Lockette is a big-body target (6-foot-2, 211 pounds), a castoff of the Seattle Seahawks, a college track sprinter and perhaps Kaepernick's closest confidant.
Lockette, 27, has spent the past eight months getting round-the-clock tutoring from Kaepernick, including two months this offseason as they trained in Atlanta with teammates A.J. Jenkins and Chad Hall.
“He's one of the fastest guys on the team, and I've been trying to keep up with him,” Kaepernick said of Lockette.
Kaepernick also has found creative ways to help Lockette assimilate the 49ers' vast and complex playbook, and that includes word association for breaking down plays.
“Instead of going through it as if, 'You do this if the safeties do this' — or you know how coaches explain, 'You've got Cover 4, Cover 5' — he says, 'Remember it this way: This car is this color. Your favorite car is a red car. When you hear red, you run a Corvette.'
“That's how we're going to make plays happen — make it as simple as possible and play as hard as we can.”
Lockette hasn't seen much playing time the past two seasons. Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011 by the Seahawks, he got promoted from their practice squad for their final three games that year, producing a 44-yard catch in a loss to the 49ers and a 61-yard touchdown reception in the regular-season finale against Arizona.