VAUGHT: Maxwell doing his "small part"

Sam Maxwell came to Kentucky from Georgia as a highly-touted, hard hitting linebacker capable of making game changing plays.

His road to stardom has not been easy — he signed with Kentucky in 2005 but did not enroll until a year later because of eligibility issues — but he's never lost faith in his ability and hopes the fumble he recovered on special teams in the win over Vanderbilt clinching UK's sixth win is the first of many big plays he makes for the Cats.

"Nothing is promised to you in college. I feel good being behind the guy I am behind in Wesley Woodyard, who might be our best player," Maxwell said. "He is a good guy as well as a good player. I have my small part to play this year, but mainly I am just trying to learn from him, see what he is doing and correct my mistakes by following him. I am behind him, but I am all for him because it is obvious he's a great player. He's a good player to be behind because you can learn so much from him."

Maxwell said he's improved just from the "mental reps" he gets watching Woodyard play outside linebacker.

"You can't ever go wrong just watching a person doing things right. It's all part of learning and Wesley seldom does anything wrong," Maxwell said. Maxwell is excited about going to a bowl because it also means he'll get almost an extra month of practice before the bowl game. He says the current recruiting class always had faith the Wildcats could win, too.

"We have worked hard for this and it means a lot to us," Maxwell said. "This is what we are here for. I don't think we thought too much about a bowl game when we came in here. We were just thinking more about winning. We knew we could win. We all believed that. If you win, bowl games fall in place. The more you win, the more options you have. That's why we just worried about winning and doing all we could to help the team out.

"Everybody on this team has a part to play. The younger guys mainly play smaller parts, but that's the way it should be. And next year when we are older, we can play bigger parts and help make this team even better.

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