"I have a fast two step and I get off the ball. They said I'm another Jerry Hughes. I thought that was pretty cool," said Maponga to BigPurpleNation.com. "It will be a great honor to be in his presence. It will be great learning from him. Hopefully I can be like him."
Maponga already has the leg up on Hughes. Unlike the Junior All-American, Maponga has been playing the position in high school. This season the 230-pound senior, racked up 71 tackles with 5.5 sacks. He also had over 20 quarterback hurry ups.
Maponga, who committed in late December, chose TCU over offers from Purdue, Louisiana Tech, Boise State, Buffalo, Iowa State, New Mexico, Utah State, Utah, and UTEP. The senior looked at every school closely and was very careful with his decision. When he committed in December, he wanted to be 100% committed.
"It was close to home the coaches over there are really tight. It just seem like a really good place to play at," said Maponga. "I played some of the players in high school and that is great thing. They seem like a tight group."
Hebron advanced to the area playoffs this season before falling to Wylie in the second round. The Hawks, which ended the season 8-4, rolled off eight straight wins after starting 0-3 and won the District 6-5A championship. Maponga's defensive efforts did not go unnoticed. The senior was named the Defensive Player of the Year in his district. Maponga became the first Hebron player to commit with TCU in the history of the Hawks' program.
Maponga currently is benching 345 pounds and squatting 430. He has recently run a 4.7 forty and is looking forward to his training this spring in preparation for his freshman year.
"I need to gain some more weight and get a little faster. I also need to work on my pass rush a little bit," said Maponga.
Maponga will major in business and reports good grades. Check back with BigPurpleNation.com later this spring to get an update on what Maponga is doing to get ready for his transition from high school to college.
Turn down the audio and enjoy highlights of the next great TCU defensive end!
Maponga Senior Highlights
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