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Godby thankful for scholarship opportunity, eager to take advantage

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UK released its first official depth chart of the fall on Monday and Max Godby was listed as the starter at center. For a player who came to Kentucky a walk-on, that's a pretty substantial piece of good news.

For Godby, however, it's not even the best news he's gotten in the last five days.

At the end of UK's practice last Thursday, Mark Stoops gathered his team around for a set of announcements. Godby listened intently as the first-year coach gave the kind of routine updates you would expect, but could hardly believe his ears when Stoops snuck in the announcement that Godby would be awarded a scholarship.  

"It kind of just threw me off," Godby said. "I thought he was talking to someone else so I was looking around seeing if maybe he meant someone behind me."

Very quickly, Godby realized Stoops was talking to him and him alone. Then, any doubt was removed by the way his teammates reacted.

"(Offensive tackle Jordan) Swindle about shook me till I had a seizure," Godby said. "Swindle was sitting right next to me and he almost tackled me. I kind of wanted to keep my head down because the news kind of rocked me a little bit. Swindle was making sure to pull my neck back to make sure everyone could see me."

Godby - a Louisville, Ky. native - had been one of the stories of fall camp even before the news, taking advantage of an opportunity created by an injury to Zach Myers and demanding playing time with strong performances and a steady presence. Godby has worked tirelessly in practice and the weight room since he arrived in 2010, and the way his teammates responded on his big day says everything about him.

"Constantly throughout the whole day I had guys congratulate me about five different times throughout the day," Godby said. "I absolutely love these guys. From the first time I stepped on campus to right now to 40-50 years down the road I absolutely love these guys."

But as much as he wanted to share the moment with his teammates, Godby needed a moment alone to process it all.

"I just had to sit down and say a prayer, but luckily I was able to get to the offensive line room," Godby said. "Somewhere just peace and quiet where I could process what had just happened. It was awesome. I thank Coach Stoops, the coaching staff and I thank God for it."

The next people on his list to thank were his parents Jeff and Giovanna. He called his father first.

"He was a guy who wanted to play Major League Baseball one day," Godby said "My dad was a really good shortstop. He was All-State, but with the scholarship situation back then where they weren't able to give out baseball scholarships he didn't get to fulfill his dream so my dad wanted to make sure I could fulfill mine."

That shared father-son dream may be fulfilled, but Godby isn't resting on his laurels. He's worked too hard for this opportunity to not capitalize on it.

"(Receiving a scholarship) was a milestone, but you still have work to do," Godby said.

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