Derrick Locke, Part 1 of 3

Not being able to play the second half of last season or participate during spring practice was not easy on running back Derrick Locke.

Not being able to play the second half of last season or participate during spring practice was not easy on running back Derrick Locke.

He wanted to be playing, especially as Kentucky made a run to a third straight bowl game. He wanted to be practicing, especially since he knows the offense has to be better this season for Kentucky to once again be in bowl contention.

But what the junior didn't do was ever worry or fret about what other running backs were doing or what incoming freshmen backs had been added to the roster while he recovered from knee surgery.

"Honestly, I don't think about it. I don't really care. I will just be honest. I don't care what anybody else is doing. When I get back, I am ready to work. If they ask, I tell them the truth. ‘Don't be comfortable.' I am not saying I will come back and be the man. But when I come back, I am going to work. Whatever that means to them, they can take that and go with it. So I am going to work and then see what happens," said Locke.

Locke has averaged 5.2 yards per carry in two years at Kentucky. He's gained 824 yards on 157 carries and scored six touchdowns, including five as a freshman in 2007. He also has 30 career receptions for another 281 yards and one touchdown.

He has explosive speed as shown by his 67-yard run against Kent State in 2007 and 68-yard jaunt against Norfolk State last year. He also had a 100-yard kickoff return against Western Kentucky and was among the nation's top returners when he was injured against Arkansas in UK's seventh game.



Check back tomorrow for more on this series of articles, which appeared in last month's issue of KSR, the magazine. Sign up for Kentucky Sports Report, the magazine, today. It is filled with great articles and glossy photographs of all things Wildcats.

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