VAUGHT: Expectations don't bother Little

If the huge expectations his 2005 season created for this year are bothering him, Rafael Little certainly is not showing it. If anything, he looks more relaxed than ever before as Kentucky prepares to open the season Sept. 3 at Louisville.

"I think the expectations are good. People know what I can do now. I just have to make sure I keep doing all the things that I did last year. I can't give up or sit back," Little said. "But teams just can't concentrate on me this year. We have more people that can catch the ball and run. Last year teams could key on me. This year that's not true."

He's embraced the competition at running back with Tony Dixon, who missed last season with an ankle injury after starting ahead of Little in 2004 when Little was slowed by an injury. "I'm not exactly sure what the coaches will do with me and Tony, but there's a possibility we could be out there together some. If we are, it will give teams a lot of problems. We are both big threats."

Little has matured in his two years at Kentucky. He's gone from a shy youngster that came to UK from South Carolina to an outgoing team leader who understands his leadership role on the team. He's even become comfortable with media interviews, something he once dreaded.

"I am cool with the interviews now. I knew I had to get used to them after last year," he said. "It's actually nice to have people wanting to talk to you. It's part of being a team leader."

AllWildcats Top Stories