LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky linebacker Sam Maxwell will have shoulder surgery and will miss the Wildcats’ bowl game, Coach Rich Brooks announced Saturday..
Brooks said that junior Jacob Dufrene and true freshman Ridge Wilson would take Maxwell’s place at strongside linebacker. The coach noted that Danny Trevathan, the weakside linebacker, would play in Maxwell’s spot in the nickel package.
Maxwell had a great season as a senior. He made 80 tackles, second on the team, including 5.5 tackles for loss and two caused fumbles. He has been outstanding in pass defense. He has six pass interceptions, most ever in one season by a Wildcat linebacker, and seven pass breakups. Maxwell ranks second in the Southeastern Conference in interceptions, and fifth in the league for total passes defended – remarkable feats for a linebacker.
Maxwell, from Hartwell, Ga., made a number of key plays in the Wildcats’ 7-5 season. He had an interception late in the Louisville game, then knocked down the Cardinals’ final pass on the last play of UK’s 31-27 victory. He made a career-high 11 tackles, along with a late-game interception, in the upset win at Georgia and was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week. He also had a 56-yard interception return for a touchdown against Tennessee.