Fleming Wows From Both Sides

Chicago Curie Metropolitan has a great quarterback in Maurice Fleming, as the junior led his team to a City Championship last season. When college coaches get a view of Fleming, like the Wisconsin coaches did on Monday, they see a good wide receiver and potential at cornerback.

MADISON - Respect is one thing that isn't just handed out in high school sports, particularly in the talented and competitive surrounding of Chicago. If a player wants to be respected, a player has to do something extraordinary.

So when Maurice Fleming is held in as high of regard as he is, the athlete from Chicago Curie Metro HS has obviously done something right.

Throwing and rushing for a total of 3,000 yards to earn All-Conference honors for the second straight year, Fleming led his team to its first City Championship last season with a 40-34 double overtime victory over Morgan Park.

"I started earning some respect because I stayed poise and I didn't lose control," Fleming said. "That was a huge deal for me."

At 5-foot-11 and 185-pounds, Fleming is not likely to play quarterback in college, but his speed and versatility have made him an intriguing prospect to college coaches. It's the main reason Fleming has been so busy in the past few weeks heading to camps, so college coaches can try to figure out where Fleming excels.

At Wisconsin, wide receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander and co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash are still trying to figure it out. Fleming was unsure of his time in the 40-yard dash or the broad jump Monday, but said he ran a 4.29 in the shuttle and impressed both coaches with his athleticism.

"I played the first session at wide receiver and I played the second session at cornerback," Fleming said. "It was my first time playing a lot at cornerback and I loved it. Coach Ash said I did a really good job. He said he was pushing me and throwing a lot at me in one-on-one drills and 7-on-7 drills and I did really good."

The cornerback position is something brand new this week for Fleming. Holding upwards of a dozen offers from MAC schools along with Cincinnati, Indiana and Minnesota, Fleming was surprised when Iowa offered him as a defensive back after his camp their on Saturday.

"They really didn't work me out as much as Wisconsin did (at cornerback)," Fleming said. "They just watched me backpedal and see if I had good hips. When I came to Wisconsin, they put me through it all, so (Monday) was my first day really working at corner."

The dialogue between Wisconsin and Fleming has been back and forth since the UW coaching staff started coming down to his school to recruit teammate James Adeyanju. Fleming made his first visit to the UW campus in February for the school's junior day. His performance in front of the coaches might mean that all that talk could amount to an offer from the Badgers later in the week.

"They really wanted me to come down to camp to see what position I could play," Fleming said. "I knew Coach Alexander liked me and Coach Ash liked me, so they were going back and forth with what position I should be. They said if I played wide receiver in college, I would be very good player. They said if I played corner in college, I have the potential to go to the NFL."

An offer from Wisconsin would be big for Fleming, who right now has Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota as his early top three schools following by Cincinnati in the second group. Fleming said Wisconsin would ‘no doubt' be in his top four, but his approaching every offer with the same steps.

"Being from Chicago and trying to stay a humble, I would say it's a big offer to say that I have, but I have to look at every school as a big offer," Fleming said. "I just stay focused on what school is going to make me a better player and person."

After multiple Big Ten camps, Fleming plans to take some time off to rest his body, and possibly will camp at Vanderbilt in July. Fleming also plans to take some officials before making a decision.

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