"That's exactly right. Football is my first love," Locke, who made his debut on Saturday in UK's win over Eastern Kentucky. "I am doing pretty good. A lot of people thought I was just a track guy trying to play football. But I was a football guy who did track. Track was the key to getting me here, but I am a football player."
Locke is an elite long jumper and was offered a track scholarship to Kentucky. He was recruited by a "lot of Big 12 schools" to play football, but also had numerous track offers.
"I really didn't turn down the Big 12 schools, but I didn't talk to a lot of them. I didn't want to take a track scholarship because I knew I wanted to play football," Locke said.
He was talking to his father about trying to do both sports in college when he got a call from the UK track coaches. Locke said he wouldn't take a track scholarship.
"I said, ‘If you can get it to where I can just show the football coaches my film, all I want is for them to give me a fair and honest chance, then I will come up here and play football and then run track," Locke said. "Right now my scholarshipo is in football, but once football is over with, I am strictly track.
"I am not surprised that I am doing well. I did pretty good in high school. Playing football is playing football. I came up here ready to play football and worry about track in the spring. I knew I had to work my butt off so I could get in on the action."
He made an immediate impact as a special teams player because of his speed. However, he quickly proved he had the toughness to be a SEC running back and the decision not to redshirt him was an easy one for the UK coaches.
"A lot of people look at my size and I am not really a big guy. I am in the low 180's and people think I am just a shifty back. I am shifty, but when it is time to bring power, I can bring power, too. That is what I heard my track coach say coach Brooks told him and that it shocked him that I was that tough. (Running backs) Coach (Larry) Brinson was thinking I would come in kind of shy of contact, too, and it shocked him when I didn't. I love football too much to be shy about contact," Locke said.
VAUGHT: Locke is a "football guy"
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