ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Though linebackers Wesley Woodyard and Danny Trevathan both played their college ball at Kentucky, they weren't in Lexington at the same time.
Woodyard left Kentucky after the 2007 season and Trevathan arrived in 2008, but now they share the same field as a part of the Broncos linebacking corps. This season, Trevathan led the team with 125 total tackles and Woodyard was second on the club with 83.
Trevathan is in just his second year in Denver while Woodyard, a defensive captain, is in his sixth.
"Being a leader, I would definitely say having that captain on my chest, that's my chip (on my shoulder)," Woodyard said. "Regardless of anything that goes on, my job is to continue to lead my defense and to continue to lead my teammates – give guys good advice out there. A guy who I'm living through and I love to see play every game is Danny Trevathan.
"He came in like a little brother to us, and now he's just growing up and taking over things. It's exciting to see that. To me, that's what I look forward to, seeing guys step up."
Trevathan has taken advantage of that opportunity to learn from Woodyard and some of the other veterans on the team, noting that he watched "how they come in, how they lead, how they handle themselves off the field with the media" and the like.
As the 2013 regular season progressed, so did Trevathan. After a strong training camp, he came out and started all 16 games – picking up a pair of sacks, three forced fumbles and three interceptions along the way.
Woodyard, who battled injury throughout the season and spent some time in sub packages, said that "Danny deserves everything he's gotten."
But to the two former Wildcats, it doesn't seem to matter who is on the field.
"Whoever is on the field, we're rooting for each other," Trevathan said. "That is just the way it goes. Me and Wesley have been through it for a long time. This is our second year together, but it feels like 15 years. Having that guy out there – he has really been a great role model in my life, talking to me, helping me get it together. Even though he's not on the field, he's with me in my head all the time. That's how I'm going to carry him."