Position – Outside Linebacker
Current Size and Speed – 6-foot-4, 240
High School – Ridgeway High School
City/State – Memphis, Tenn.
Senior Stats – 17 sacks
Recruited By – Larry Porter
Scout.com Position Ranking – No. 19 (****)
Justin Maclin was tabbed as one of the Volunteer State’s top high school football prospects for 2010, making him one of Larry Porter’s top priorities on the recruiting trail. A standout running back at Memphis State in the 1990s, Porter was LSU head coach Les Miles’ go-to guy when it came to recruiting the state of Tennessee.
For Porter, Maclin’s recruitment was one whose roots dated back to prior to Justin’s birth. James Maclin, Justin’s father, lined up on the offensive line at Memphis State during Porter’s stint with the Tigers. Lifelong friends, the pair’s relationship went a long way to bringing the four-star Ridgeway High prospect to Baton Rouge.
Six months after his commitment, Porter took the head-coaching job at Memphis. With the option of joining Porter and staying in his home city, or heading out to visit other campuses, Maclin elected to honor his pledge to the program and sign with LSU in February.
On sticking with the Tigers… “It was never a tough decision. I really love coach Porter and everything he has done for me, but everyone knew that my best options were down in Baton Rouge. That is where I decided I needed to be long before coach Porter left, and it wasn’t all because of him either. LSU is a great program, and I wanted to be part of pretty bad.”
On his freshman season… “I am excited because I feel like I am in the group of guys who have a serious shot at playing early. I expect to come in over the summer and try to get transitioned, because in the fall I want to be settled in for camp. I want to just show the coaches that I am ready to play SEC ball. I feel like that’s where I am at.”
On where the staff projects him… “Coach Chavis and I have talked a couple of times about me occupying the backup role to Ryan Baker at weak side linebacker. I really want to play linebacker, and I know I have a better shot there with the current depth chart.”
On the depth chart… “It’s funny because I watched the spring game with my father and the one thing that stood out to us was lack of linebacker depth and some missed tackles. If there is room for other guys to step in and make plays, then I want to be that name. I am working as hard as ever to get there.”
On his current weight… “I played at 225 pounds last season, and now I am up to 240. The weight I am adding is all muscle, because coach Moffitt’s new workout plan has me doing tons of weightlifting. Coach Chavis has told me to just stay right where I am at, so I feel confident that I have the body to compete with those older guys.”
On the option of defensive end… “I am not ruling it out, and I don’t think the coaches are either. They have talked about me getting shots at rushing off the edge. I really just want to play, so we’ll see how the summer and fall workouts go before I say never.”
On time spent away from football… “Memphis has a little bit of it all, so I never get bored sitting around or anything. We eat at tons of BBQ places, and there is a local wing shop that the whole team hangs out at. Really it is just about finding different spots to hang with the friends.”
An NBA or NCAA man… “I am not much of a [Memphis] Grizzlies fan. The University of Memphis basketball is what I really enjoy. Everyone from the city supports the team, and basketball has always been the biggest sport in the city. Watching in the FedEx Forum isn’t too bad, either.”
On other friends from the class… “I am pretty close with DJ [Welter] and Cameron [Fordham]. Spencer Ware and I talk as well. Those guys all talk about how excited they are to get to campus. Everyone that signed seems to keep in touch, so we should be a pretty close class.”