University of Kentucky
- Family Science
Derrick Locke is on track to graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in family science and a minor in communication and leadership development.
Despite a season-ending knee injury midway through his sophomore season, Locke kept a positive attitude and became a mentor to the younger running backs last year. After tearing his MCL and ACL, trainers told him that it may end up costing him his entire football career. Locke has never lacked for confidence on or off the field, but the news was quite humbling. After surgery, Locke’s nerve block wore off and led to painful blood rushes when he tried to stand up. He spent hours daily fighting through gruesome pain to get proper flexion and extension in the knee. He had to sleep at night with a continuous passive motion machine on the knee. But his never-give-up attitude, combined with many hours of hard work in the weight room, helped Locke not only return to the playing field but return as one of the key cogs for the Wildcats last season. Locke’s leadership and work ethic make him one of the most respected players on the team, and coach Joker Phillips selected him as one of three players to represent Kentucky at the SEC Media Days in August.
Locke has been an active member in UK’s “Cats Who Care” service program during his four years as a Wildcat. He has volunteered to clean rooms at Lexington’s Ronald McDonald House and has been a guest speaker at numerous elementary schools in the area. He also has volunteered with UK’s Dance Blue, an organization at UK that raises money for the University of Kentucky Pediatric Oncology Clinic.
Locke was named to the preseason All-SEC first team by league coaches as a running back and first team as a return specialist by the media. Last season Locke ranked 14th nationally with an average kickoff return of 27.8 yards and was honored as a second-team All-SEC all-purpose player by the Associated Press. Locke compiled 907 rushing yards and 284 receiving yards in 2009. He enters his senior season ranked 10th on Kentucky’s career rushing list with 1,731 yards.