Kentucky running back Derrick Locke dropped from second to third on the depth chart at tailback this week but still should get his share of carries. He'll also be looked upon to break a big kickoff return, and with the UK receiving corps struggling, Locke said he'd have no problem splitting out to wide receiver on occasion to take advantage of his pass-catching ability and ability to run a sub-4.3 40-yard dash.
"I wouldn't mind that at all, but it's not up to me," Locke said. "I feel like I've got the quickness. If (UK offensive coordinator Joker Phillips) wants to do that, I have no problem with it. Don't take me out of the backfield completely, but on occasion I don't mind that. It's just another way to get your hands on the ball. I feel like I can do it, but I'm just trying to play my part right now."
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Former high school teammates clash
UK guard Zipp Duncan and Alabama defensive end Brandon Deaderick were teammates at Elizabethtown High School. Saturday afternoon, they'll line up against each other.
Duncan said he and Deaderick are close friends and talked Sunday night, but that friendship will be put on hold Saturday.
"You can't take any prisoners out there," Duncan said. "I know we're both going to give it our all for 60 minutes, but after the game, we'll be friends."
The winner of the game will have bragging rights when they go home for the summer.
"It's going to be huge, especially since we're matched up against each other," Duncan said. "We'll definitely have a lot of personal war stories, I guess. It's a big game. It's about pride and respect, so I know we'll be battling each other."
There are a couple other UK-Alabama links. Alabama redshirt freshman running back Demetrius Goode originally signed with Kentucky in 2006 but headed for Hargrave Military Academy after not qualifying academically. He then opted for Alabama and is currently the fifth-string tailback. His only appearance came in Alabama's 41-7 win over Western Kentucky, when he carried seven times for 21 yards.
Nick Fanuzzi, the son of former UK quarterback Mike Fanuzzi, left the Crimson Tide in fall camp after not being included among the top four quarterbacks on the pre-season depth chart. Fanuzzi was recruited by Kentucky before signing with Alabama.
Boyd still has work to do
Freshman receiver Aaron Boyd delivered a career-high three catches against Western Kentucky last week, but UK Coach Rich Brooks said Boyd has to work harder in practice to move up the depth chart.
"You have to practice well and perform well and know what you're doing and doing it full speed in this league, or you're not going to play much," Brooks said. "When he starts doing that consistently, he'll play more. He did catch all three balls thrown to him, so that's encouraging. Some of the other guys haven't done that. But he's got a lot of work to do in understanding the level of intensity it takes to play in this league."