- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) - Former Kentucky running back Dy’Shawn Mobley is thriving in his new home at Eastern Kentucky.

Though his sudden decision last December to transfer stunned Wildcats coaches, the move just down the road from Lexington has turned out well for Mobley and the Colonels (5-0, 2-0 Ohio Valley Conference) entering Saturday night’s game against Eastern Illinois (1-4, 1-0).

As EKU’s featured back Mobley has rushed for five touchdowns and an OVC-best 530 yards and ranks third nationally in the FCS at 8.2 yards per carry. The Colonels, ranked 16th in the FCS coaches poll, meanwhile are 5-0 for the first time since 1990 and seek their first 3-0 league start since 2009.

That’s the most satisfying part for the junior, who said, “It feels great to win.”

Mobley’s final game with Kentucky offered a hint of his talent as he rushed 17 times for 143 yards in a season-ending loss to Tennessee, which also marked a team high for 2013.

The Powell, Tennessee, native finished as Kentucky’s fourth-leading rusher with 43 carries for 300 yards including a 69-yard touchdown but he yearned for more carries. Mobley soon announced that he would transfer before landing at EKU and hasn’t looked back.

That’s likely because he’s getting plenty of work in an EKU offense ranked second in the OVC at 463.2 yards per game.

“I knew when I left Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky was going to be my next home,” he said. “I had no doubts about it. They showed they cared.”

Indeed, Colonels coach Dean Hood and his staff had initially recruited Mobley and kept track of him even after he decided to attend Kentucky. Hood was ready with an offer when Mobley sought a new school and hasn’t been surprised by his immediate impact.

“He wasn’t a stranger when he became available,” Hood said. “Everything we thought is exactly what he was. He is a team-above-self guy. He came in, worked hard and didn’t expect anything to be given to him.”

Saturday’s game will mark a reunion of sorts between Mobley and Eastern Illinois quarterback Jalen Whitlow, who was Kentucky’s starter much of last season before he transferred last spring. Mobley keeps track of Whitlow’s progress and wants to see him succeed in his new home, just as he has at EKU.

“We don’t talk that much, but we’re still good friends,” Mobley said. “Jalen cares about me like I care about him. He’s going to go hard and I’m going to go hard for my team. The outcome is going to be the outcome.”

Mobley is also monitoring Kentucky’s impressive 4-1 start without him. He said he remains friends with several Wildcats and could see some of his former teammates after they face ULM.

Mobley’s goal is showing them how EKU has progressed with his help.

“We set a goal at the beginning of the season (to) take it one game at a time,” Mobley said. “That’s what we’ve pretty much done, trying to get better each and every game.”

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