Derrick Locke: Free Bonus Coverage

The injury made have had one unexpected benefit for Locke. It has helped him mature and gain a new perspective on football and life. He says he was "shocked" that he did as well academically as he did last semester when he was going through rehab.

The injury made have had one unexpected benefit for Locke. It has helped him mature and gain a new perspective on football and life. He says he was "shocked" that he did as well academically as he did last semester when he was going through rehab.

"I went to school. I hated going to one class because I had to go up steps every time – and I hated it. I would get to class and be hurting. Even when I got to where I could bend my leg a little bit, sitting in class was so annoying to my knee. It was hard to pay attention because of the pain. It's just something you have where you have to be strong. I feel like I am a pretty strong guy, so I was able to go through that," he said.

He was also able to learn to never again take so many routine things for granted.

"Being able to just move, sit down or sleep and do things like that I took for granted. Who cared about that? That is what your leg is supposed to do. When it got took away from me, it was a blow," he said. " I was down and out. Why me? I told (running back) Alfonso (Smith), my best friend on the team, that I would never take anything for granted again. Just to be able to sit down and not feel pain is a great feeling. I learned to be thankful for everything I have now, and that has made me a better man."



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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