Wildcats get some good news at running back

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Kentucky got a little insurance at running back late last week when grades for this past semester were posted.

Junior Moncell Allen will be eligible after academics sidelined him for the bowl game last season. The Kentucky coaches weren't really counting on him in the spring because they didn't know if he would be eligible for the 2009 season, which placed a huge burden on Alfonso Smith.

The jury is still out on whether Derrick Locke can return to full speed after suffering a serious knee injury midway through last season.

But having the 5-foot-7, 225-pound Allen back will give them some flexibility. He's a physical runner who can also play fullback and is a good blocker.

Joker Phillips, Kentucky's head coach of the offense, is hopeful that at least one of the freshmen will be able to step in and play in the fall. The Wildcats signed three running backs in this class -- Dakotah Tyler of Indianapolis, Donald Russell of West Palm Beach, Fla., and Jonathan George of Lincoln, Ala.