"That is so true. Everything I have done up here is going to change my life tremendously. That's why I take things so seriously on recruiting. I have to make sure our program is getting better in the future," said Woodyard.
Woodyard has been a fierce competitor on the field. He has led the team in tackles the last three years. Off the field, he can be as happy go-lucky as anyone.
"I am an all-around guy. Anything I can do, I will be a helpful guy. Even if it is not a teammate and is somebody on the street, I am going to help. My mom raised me that way. If somebody needs help, I will be there to help," Woodyard said.
While some players have had to endure hardships or overcome major obstacles to make it to college, Woodyard says his mother, Edna Sutton, gave him no choice but to do things the right way as a youngster in LaGrange, Ga.
"She stayed on me hard. She always made sure if I had something and somebody needed it more than I did, then you had to give it up. In football, my mom made sure if I was going to play football that I was serious about it. So I give thanks to my mom and God. I was always the same guy, but I always continued to get better to please my mom," Woodyard said.
"If I didn't walk a narrow line, she would knock me on it. If I wasn't in my books, she let me know. She would always say, 'Hit those books before you play football.' She would sit me down and tell me if I was acting up in class and not getting my grades, then I wouldn't play football. Football was my love, so I had to make sure I was doing what my mom wanted me to do."
Like all mothers, she worried when he left the security of LaGrange - where he was popular and happy - to play football at Kentucky.
"I thought, 'Oh, God. Wesley will not take care of himself. What is he going to do up there by himself?' But I am so proud of Wesley. He has really impressed me on and off the field. He is very mature. I have never had to call and say you better do this or that. He always makes sure he calls me and tells me what is going on in football and the classroom. If he gets kind of busy, I will call him or text him. But that doesn't happen very often," she said.
'People always want to be around him'
Sutton insists she does not possess the same engaging, outgoing personality as her son. "The way you know Wesley now, that's pretty much how he always was. Very energetic. Very friendly. A courteous kid. He always had lots of friends," Sutton said. "He is still very popular here now. People always want to be around him. It has nothing to do with sports or college. He is just friendly."
Woodyard had to help persuade his mother to even be interviewed.
"She is real shy. I think it is a good experience for her to come out and meet reporters and just have fun," he said. "I love my mom. She is the major reason I am playing football. She is the reason I play hard every down. After football, I want to make sure I can take care of my mom."
Woodyard never had a summer job because his mother wanted him to be able to concentrate on school and sports without worrying about a work schedule.
"I always told him to focus on school and the field and I would take care of home. It was hard, but I didn't see where he needed to work. It was a challenge to raise both of my sons, but it was my responsibility to take care of him and his brother. I knew they both would step up and do what they had to do if I needed help," Woodyard's mother said.
Woodyard is grateful for the opportunities his mother gave him, and the worries she made sure he never had.