Kentucky senior running back Derrick Locke said at SE’C Media Days on Wednesday that he believes senior Mike Hartline should be the Wildcats’ starting quarterback. Hartline had a slight lead over sophomore Morgan Newton and redshirt freshman Ryan Mossakowski at the end of spring.
“Honestly, I feel like Hartline is the guy,” Locke said. “When it comes to spring and stepping up, he had a great spring. He stepped up. He made plays.
You could just look at him and tell how mature he is. You’d looked at him like, ‘Hey, he belongs back there.’ That’s just how I feel.”
Locke stressed that his comments weren’t intended as a slight on Newton or Mossakowski.
“I’m not saying other guys, with Newton, I’m not saying we can’t win with them, but I feel like it’s Hartline,” Locke said. “It’s his senior year. This is all or nothing now, so I feel like he got more to play for. I feel like he’s going to give more out there. And I feel like with that pressure, knowing ‘Hey, if I mess up, this is my senior campaign, somebody else could come in and take my spot.’ He don’t want that, and I know he don’t want that. So I feel like he’s going to play at a level that everybody expected him to play on. No doubt about that — he’s going to make plays, he’s going to make reads, and that’s the big thing. I’m putting all faith into him. If we want to win, I feel like he’s going to be our guy.”