Following years moving through multiple foster homes, Lorenzo Mauldin remained focused on his goal of going to college and continue to grow and develop into a potential NFL draft pick. Mauldin committed to and was prepared to sign with South Carolina until Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier informed him, via fax the day before signing day, that the program no longer had room for him.
Instead of his high school coach and national media creating an unnecessary firestorm for Spurrier's decision, Mauldin remained focused on his future. South Carolina's loss was Louisville's gain. The Georgia native quickly became a key contributor, as well as a favorite among the Cardinals fan base.
During his time wearing the Red and Black, Mauldin helped the Louisville defense rank among the nation's best. He finished his career with multiple bowl victories and a place in the program's record books, ranking ninth in career sacks with 21.
On Wednesday, Mauldin, who participated in the NFL Combine last month, put his talents on display for more more that 80 NFL personnel, including head coaches Cincinnati, New England and Pittsburgh.
Like at the combine, Mauldin participated in all of the drills before closing the afternoon working defensive line drills for the many scouts.
“I think I did myself a favor by coming out here and doing everything again,” Mauldin said after his workout. “If felt good doing the d-line drills again, because I've been so caught up in trying to be an outside linebacker, so doing the d-line drills felt normal.”
Mauldin has drawn interest from many NFL franchises, including a visit with the Steelers for dinner on Tuesday evening.
“They all talk to me in equal amounts,” he said. “I had dinner with Pittsburgh and it was just a sit down, laugh it up type dinner. Coach Tomlin told us what to expect going to any team.”
Mauldin, who was recently honored as a Kentucky Colonel, inked a deal with adidas prior to participating at the combine.
“It felt good to know that somebody wants you, especially at this level,” he said if the deal. Most people think that getting a big shoe deal after you finish college is a big thing, but I didn't really look for it,” he said. “I've always liked adidas, even before coming to Louisville, so signing with them is big thing for me.”
The next big thing is signing his professional contract, something that Mauldin has remained focused on since the days of his youth.
“I've been thinking about for quite awhile, since I started playing football,” he explained. “That was a dream and now that the dream is becoming a reality is breathtaking. A lot people ask me if I'm nervous and I'd lying if I said I wasn't because you have 32 teams looking at you and it's possible that you go to one.”
Mauldin will continue to work out in Louisville in preparation for the NFL Draft that begins on April 30.