The Mauldin Mavericks have enjoyed some of the most successful seasons ever under the guidance of head coach Doug Shaw and his staff. The Mavericks have had some talented prospects during that tenure especially up front on their offensive line. Two years ago it was Taylor Hudson and this past season it was Ryan Norton. Hudson is now at East Carolina while Norton signed with Clemson on National Signing Day. Shaw and company may have another big man to continue that trend in 2012 OL Jonathan McLaughlin. We caught up with McLaughlin recently as he's the latest player to be featured in our "UP NEXT" series.
At 6'5 280 pounds McLaughlin has tremendous size and the Mauldin standout says he's learned quite a lot from his coaching staff but also from the aforementioned Hudson and Taylor.
"Yes, watching Taylor Hudson has made me better. Then working out with Ryan Norton has made me work harder and he has also taught me a lot."
Schools have started to inquire about McLaughlin and he's already taken a couple of visits to one school and he talked about what he liked most about them.
"I have currently have heard from Clemson , East Carolina and Wake Forest. Wake Forest is recruiting me the hardest right now. I have visited Clemson a couple of times already. I really like it there. The coaches have told me that they like my size and frame."
McLaughlin had a solid junior season and he talked with us about his best game, the toughest team he faced, and the toughest opponent he saw all season.
"My best game would have to be against Woodmont. I had a lot of knock down blocks that game."
"The toughest team I've faced would have to be Greenwood. Their defensive line was quick off the ball. As far as individuals I'd have to say Kevin Dodd from Riverside was the toughest player I faced. He was strong and quick."
The 2012 Mauldin standout talked about what his plans are for this offseason in hopes of improving and getting his name out there for more college coaches.
"I want to try to make some Nike camps and try to visits some schools. This offseason my main focus is to get faster and stronger."
McLaughlin says that he feels like he's better at pass protection than in the run game at this point but it's another area he'll look to shore up this offseason.
With his recruitment just getting underway McLaughlin says he's wide open to anybody that wants to recruit him. He also shared what aspects he'll factor heavily when looking at colleges come next year.
"Education, then there's the programs that the school offers, and the coaches."
McLaughlin has been invited to Wake Forest's Junior Day this Saturday and says he'll make the trip to Winston Salem to learn more about the Demon Deacons.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS...JONATHAN MCLAUGHLIN
Bench press: 270 pounds
Squat: 365 pounds
Power clean: 250 pounds
Fastest 40 time: 5.2 seconds