Sophomore Moncell Allen showed last week in UK's 38-3 win over Norfolk State that the Wildcats have four viable options at tailback. The 5-foot-7, 225-pounder came in at mop-up time and carried seven times for 71 yards and a TD.
Q: The Norfolk State game was the most carries you've ever had at UK. What was it like to get in the mix?
A: "I wasn't even really prepared to play that game; I didn't think I'd get in much at tailback expect maybe on goal-line. I was just waiting for my chance, so when I finally got in, I just tried to take care of business and do my thing."
Q: The coaches have made constant references to your conditioning. How's that going?
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
A: "I've been doing extra running after practice every day. I'm down to around 223. I was kind of tired (against Norfolk State) because I'm not used to getting that many carries in a row, but also I play on all the special teams, too. We kicked the ball off so many times (against Norfolk State) that my legs were a little overwhelmed. The first couple of runs felt pretty good, but on the long run, I didn't know if I'd make it."e_SClBQ: What special teams units are you on, and which is your favorite.
A: "I'm on kickoff, kickoff return, punt return and the hands team. Kickoff is my favorite, because it gives me a chance to go down and blast somebody."
Q: How did you get your nickname "The Turtle"?
A: "In high school at halftime of one of our games, one of my teammates saw me put my head in my shoulder pads and called me 'Turtle.' It stuck. Now everybody in my family calls me 'Turtle'. I even have a turtle tattoo on my back and arm."
Q: Talk about your relationship with Dicky Lyons Jr., who was a high school teammate.
A: "We're like brothers, We fight all the time. Sometimes he does things I don't like, sometimes I do things that he doesn't like. But in the end, we always come together. I've been knowing Dicky since fourth or fifth grade. He's just a nut. He's always been the same. He never wanted to go by the rules. He's always wanted to do his own little thing. If he were to change, we'd all think something was wrong with him."
National recruits will be watching Cats-Cards
The UK-U of L game always has huge ramifications in recruiting. Andre Woodson committed to Kentucky shortly after watching the Cats beat the Cards in Louisville in 2002, and recent UK commit Morgan Newton said last year's game gave the Wildcats a jump-start in the recruiting process.
And while this year's game doesn't have near the national profile as last year's, there will still be some interested eyes tuned in.
Newton will be in attendance, and several other out-of-state prospects that UK is recruiting will be watching at home.
One of those players is Justin Brown, a four-star receiver from Wilmington, Del. Newton's father, Dr. John Newton, made a recruiting pitch for Brown during ESPN's telecast of Newton's high school season-opener last weekend.
Brown, who was offered a scholarship by UK in the spring, said he saw the telecast of Newton's game.
"I was kind of surprised because I wasn't expecting it, but I thought it was cool for (Newton's father) to do that," Brown said.
Brown said he's still early in the recruiting process, and since his high school games are on Saturdays, he won't take his official visits until after the season. Brown also has offers from Tennessee, LSU, Penn State, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Oregon, Missouri, and others.
Brown said he talked with UK offensive coordinator Joker Phillips this week and said he hopes to talk to Newton in the near future.
"I'm definitely interested in Kentucky," Brown said. "I'm focused on the season right now, but hopefully if everything works out, I can take a visit there."
Other out-of-state recruits on UK's radar expected to be tuned in are:
■ David Gilbert, a 6-4, 214-pound defensive end from Oakland Park, Fla. Gilbert has a four-star rating from Rivals.com and also has offers from Wisconsin, Purdue, and Kansas State.
■ David Sims, a 6-foot, 208-pound safety from Calhoun County, S.C. Sims is a three-star recruit by Scout.com with offers from Kansas, Georgia Tech, N.C. State and South Carolina.
■ Terrell Mitchell, a 6-6, 220-pound tight end from Powder Springs, Ga. Mitchell is a three-star recruit by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.
■ Thad McHaney, a 6-4, 240-pound tight end from Brentwood, Tenn. McHaney is a three-star prospect by Scout.com who has been offered scholarships by Auburn, Louisville, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Also, two of Kentucky's remaining in-state targets, Central linebacker Ridge Wilson and St. Xavier running Deuce Finch, are expected to be in attendance.
One issue for the Wildcats will be scholarships. Kentucky isn't expected to have the full allotment of 25 scholarships for its 2009 class, and UK is currently listed with 18 commitments. Included on that commitment list is Jerrell Greene, who has some legal issues and was dismissed from the Dunbar team this off-season. Kentucky isn't allowed to comment on unsigned prospects, but it's doubtful that Greene will be a member of its 2009 class. The Wildcats are expected to hold a scholarship for 2008 signee Donte Rumph, who is currently at Fork Union Military Academy and hopes to gain eligibility for next season.e_SClBTriathlon traffic
Sunday's game coincides with the Ironman Triathlon being held in Louisville. In order to allow fans to use the Third Street ramps from the Watterson Expressway to get to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, the marathon portion of the triathlon was moved from Third to Fourth Street at Winkler Avenue. The course will later link into Southern Parkway via Oakdale Avenue. Runners are expected to be on the course for most of the day. The Taylor Boulevard exit off the Watterson will be closed, but the Crittenden Drive exit will be open.
The "Cat Walk" will take place at Gate H of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Fans are encouraged to meet at the gate at around 1 p.m. Gate H is located off Floyd Street and is adjacent to the practice fields. Fans will not be permitted to greet the team as players exit the bus. Fans can gather along the route as the buses turn into the stadium off of Floyd St.
Sunday's game will be broadcast on ESPN, with Joe Tessitore handling the play-by-play and Rodney Gilmore serving as analyst. The game is also available on the radio networks for both schools. XM Satellite Radio will pick up each school's broadcast, with Kentucky on Channel 199 and Louisville on Channel 203.
Watch it on the big screen
The game will also be shown at the Kentucky Theater and Applebee's Park. Admission is free at both locations. Gates open at Applebee's Park at 1 p.m., and there will be contests and activities before the game. Doors open around 3 p.m. at the Kentucky Theater.