LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky football head coach Joker Phillips said that he is “optimistic” that senior tailback Derrick Locke, who has missed the past four games with a shoulder injury, will return to play for the Wildcats against Southeastern Conference foe Vanderbilt at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday.
Phillips said that Locke looked good and fresh with his running and leg work Tuesday. The first-year head coach said that Locke did take a few hits Tuesday and they will start getting him more contact Wednesday.
“Derrick Locke’s legs work. I can tell you that,” Phillips said. “He got banged around a couple of times when he wasn’t supposed to get banged around, but he did. We will give him more contact tomorrow and see how he does. He looked good and fresh, that is for sure.”
Phillips believes that there is reason to be more optimistic this week by how Locke caught some balls above his head in practice.
“I am optimistic,” Phillips said. “I have been like that every week. I am a little bit more hopeful this week in watching him run around and how when we throw some passes to him that were above his head, he got his arms up to be able to catch the ball. I feel a little bit better this week.”
The return of the senior tailback could come at a key time for Kentucky, which is trying to get bowl eligible for the fifth consecutive season. Phillips said his players know the significance and are practicing hard.
“It is a big game,” Phillips said, “and our guys practiced like it was today. That is the thing that we wanted to get out of this.”
The Wildcats play host to the Commodores
Tickets Available for Vanderbilt: Tickets are available for the Vanderbilt game at a cost of $46 each and may be obtained:
• Online at www.UKathletics.com
• At the UK Ticket Office in the Joe Craft Center, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• By calling 800-928-2287
Hartline, Trevathan Named Game Captains for Vanderbilt: Senior quarterback Mike Hartline and junior linebacker Danny Trevathan have been named game captains for the Vanderbilt game on Saturday, head coach Joker Phillips has announced.
Game captains are usually chosen on the basis of performance in the previous game. Hartline threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns in last Saturday’s win over Charleston Southern. In the process, he
became the fifth QB in UK history to throw for 5,000 yards in a career, joining Jared Lorenzen, Andre' Woodson, Tim Couch and Bill Ransdell. For the season, Hartline has completed 65.7 percent (222-of-338) of his passes for 2,674 yards and an SEC-leading 21 touchdowns.
Trevathan had 13 tackles against Charleston Southern, surpassing the 100-tackle mark for the season and is three tackles shy of the 200-tackle mark for his career. Trevathan has been a consistent force on the defensive side of the ball for Kentucky, leading the SEC in tackles with 110. The junior has led UK in tackles eight of 10 games this season and has double-figure tackles in six-consecutive games, the longest streak since Marty Moore had double-figure tackles in 13-consecutive games in 1991-92.
Hartline and Trevathan will join permanent captains Randall Cobb and DeQuin Evans at the pregame coin toss. It marks the third time this season that Hartline has been given the honor and the fifth time for Trevathan.