Maye grateful for early return

CLEMSON - As if he had just stepped to the podium to accept an award, Brandon Maye wanted to thank everyone who made his 2010 debut possible.

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He started with his Man upstairs before working down towards the Clemson doctors, training staff, physical therapist and all the Tiger fans that sent their encouraging words and support.

"It's been tough for me to sit over there and watch my brothers go to war," he said at the West End Zone on Tuesday. "I'm very excited to finally get back on the field."

Maye woke up one morning in the days leading up to the North Texas game with a swollen knee. A MRI revealed there was a loose body floating around and he was told surgery would have been required in the future had it been left alone.

Instead, he decided to move forward with the scope.

As a result, he was forced to miss the first two games of the season. Dating back to the Music City Bowl, he missed the last three-straight games because of an injury.

"It was very tough for me. I could have easily said forget all this and gone into a shell," he said. "Instead, I came out. I worked every day. I was a leader every day, working countless hours in the weight room—overtime because of my knee.

"I'm here now. I'm ready to play."

Talk about ready to play. The original target date for his return was next month's game against Miami.

"That tells you how much work and dedication I put in to that to be able to back with my guys and go to war," Maye said.

What better time for him to step back onto the field?

Maye grew up a "die-hard" Auburn fan and attended several games at Jordan-Hare throughout his childhood.

"It's going to be crazy for me to actually be on the field. Usually, I'm sitting on the top row in the nose-bleed section looking down on everybody," he said.

Auburn considered an offer but never did. Maye insisted there's no extra motivation for Saturday's game because of that.

"It's motivation every week I play. Every week I feel like you should be highly motivated to play your next game," he said. "To actually go in play against Auburn in a GameDay atmosphere with so much riding on the game and friends—the fans, my family's going to be there. Just to be able to go down to Alabama is going to be great." Top Stories