Charles looks to play early for the Pack

Maurice Charles looks to provide instant depth this fall at what Coach Amato calls his young defensive line. StateFans caught up with the Miami (FL) Carol City Defensive End to talk about his future at N.C. State.

Like so many good high school football players, Maurice Charles is busy this spring running track. He just competed in the Florida State Championships and finished second in the discus with a 166' toss. He also participated in the shot put, finishing fifth in the state meet with a throw of 53'5". Charles has a personal best of 180' in the discus and 55'8" in the shot.

According to Maurice, he could have done a little better if he would have been fresh for the meet.

"The championships were on Saturday, and we had our prom on Friday night. My sister and I left Miami at 4:30 in the morning and got to Gainesville at 8:45. I took a shower and was on the track at 11:00. I slept in the car on the way, but I was tired during the meet. I did ok. My team finished seventh overall. We had some runners who didn't qualify, so that hurt us."

Maurice has also begun to focus on what it takes physically to play Division-1 football. He has received his spring work-out requirements from the coaches at NC State.

"The work-out is going good. It's not as intense since I'm used to it now. I was a little shaky at first with it. I have gained some weight and I have gotten faster."

According to Charles, he is now 6-foot-2 250 pounds and is now running a 4.8 40.

The coaching staff has talked to Maurice about playing defensive end and he hopes to arrive in Raleigh in early July.

"Part of the reason I chose N.C. State was for the chance to play early. They have two returning defensive ends. I should have a chance to start and play early if I go up there ready."

While the chance to play early was important in his decision for N.C. State, it was not the sole reason.

"It came down to Florida and NC State. The academics at State were important. I liked the tutoring set up at State. I met the person who heads it up and they have a strict policy about being in tutor sessions. They look for ways to help you succeed. Florida didn't offer much one-on-one [support] it seemed."

Charles also felt like he was needed at NC State.

"It was just a better choice for me athletically. It's not that they just wanted me to play there; they made me feel they needed me at State. That was important."

Maurice also speaks highly of Coach Amato.

"He seems like a great guy. I have heard great things about him from people I meet. I tell them I am going to N.C. State and people know Chuck Amato. He is a fun person to be around and he is cool. But he can be strict when he needs to be."

Charles had a chance to meet some of his future teammates during the California/Florida All-Star game.

"I met Miguel (Scott), (Stephen) Tulloch, Jimmy Sutton and running back Brian Dennison. All were great guys who I can see me hanging around. They were hard workers too."

He finished the 2002 football campaign for Miami Carol City High School with 82 tackles, 18 sacks, 7 caused fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries (with one being for a touchdown).

"I ran that fumble in from about fifteen yards out. We had a blitz on and I hit the quarterback. It was a bad snap and the ball popped out. I picked it up and ran it in for the touchdown. It was cool."

Maurice is very close to being fully qualified, but he has a few points yet to go on his SAT. He has plans to take it for the final time in June. Once qualified and enrolled, Charles intends to major in business management.

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