Success is Not Foreign Anymore to London

His nickname is Mo', and ever since spring practice Maurice London has stayed true to that moniker (slang for more) by improving leaps and bounds from 2004. The off-season work he put in has already paid dividends. He was given the game ball on defense for his play in the season opener against Temple, and he will be one of the captains in the much anticipated showdown against LSU. The senior told Devils Digest that pushing himself, while also being pushed, has allowed him to succeed thus far.

"I just went out there and did my job," said the 6-0 182 Maurice London on his performance last Saturday. "I studied my playbook a lot before the game and everything just fell in place during the game. Things are working out good for me."

It surely wasn't smooth sailing when he first arrived in Tempe last season as a JC transfer. The safety did play in 11 out of the 12 games, but saw limited time in each contest which resulted in only 14 tackles on the year. Against Temple he was third on the team with five tackles, one of them for a loss. His performance last week was a testament to his desire to turn his fortunes around.

"It was hard in the beginning of the spring because they recruited some transfers to play safety (Zach Catanese and Derron Ware)," London commented. "But that pushed me and made me try harder studying the playbook and working in the weight room."

Speaking of the playbook, listening to London one gets the idea that it may be a few inches ticker these days. "Oh man – our defense is like an NFL defense," he remarked with a smile. "Every play the safety has something to say (i.e. affect the play) and last year it seemed like we were in a base defense the whole time. Now we have to make a call every play, and you almost have a different assignment each play. You really have to be mentally prepared."

The game against LSU is being played as a result of the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Although London played his junior college ball in San Diego (Grossmont), he grew up in Atlanta, GA where hurricanes, or at least hurricane related weather systems, were commonplace.

London doesn't believe he knows any hurricane victims, but also added "If I did, I wouldn't know about it right now. I know a lot about hurricanes because in Georgia we always got the aftershock like Tornados and stuff like that. I feel sorry for the people that suffered and may god bless them."

Armed with confidence after his best performance in the maroon and gold, London and his teammates are ready for the match-up with the Tigers, and it seems like he and his comrades are carrying a chip on their shoulder. "We're just ready to play," he said. "A lot of people are doggin' us so we want to make a point and get in there. We have a lot of challenges with LSU. They love running the ball, so we have to strap it on and get ready to hit and make good tackles."

Being a game captain is a duty that humbles the safety, who realizes the significance of that title. "That's big (takes a deep breath) and lots of pressure," he explained. "Going out before the game starts, leading the team and everybody sees you…It's a big moment for me and I got to take advantage of it."

Sounds like another successfully capitalized opportunity of a player who takes nothing for granted.

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