Kentucky QB Maxwell Smith Could Receive A Medical Hardship

By Steve LeMaster

This season may or may not be lost for an SEC quarterback. If Maxwell Smith, the talented sophomore who started at quarterback for the Kentucky Wildcats can’t return from an ankle injury that required surgery, he could be granted a medical hardship.

Smith, who suffered a torn ligament during the opening series of Kentucky’s game versus the South Carolina Gamecocks, missed a game on the road versus the Florida Gators after he reaggravated a shoulder injury during  Kentucky’s battle at home with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. With Smith out indefinitely, Kentucky has turned to freshmen Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles.

Smith was helping to lead Kentucky early on in his sophomore season. The sophomore quarterback had completed 103 of 150 passes for 975 yards and eight touchdowns with four interceptions.

The California native enjoyed a stellar freshman season with the Wildcats. As a true freshman, Smith completed 19 of 36 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns in a come-from-behind win over Ole Miss. He was named to the Freshman All-SEC team by league coaches. In eight games in 2011, Smith completed 84 of 153 passes for 819 yards and four touchdowns.

A highly-accurate quarterback, Smith has been around the Kentucky football program for a few years. He originally signed with Kentucky in the spring of 2010. After Kentucky’s signing class was full, Smith agreed to grayshirt until January 2011.

Smith, who underwent ankle surgery earlier in the week, became Kentucky’s starting quarterback in the spring when Morgan Newton was sidelined with an injury of his own. The tall, athletic Smith made strides throughout the spring and offseason. If he is granted a medical hardship, Smith will have the opportunity to prolong his promising career with the Kentucky football program.

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