Maresh is finding his way at Iowa Western

One of the top returning tacklers in the JUCO ranks this year is Iowa Western LB Sam Maresh (6-3, 235). After a solid 2010 season, the sure-tackling prospect hopes someone will give him a chance to return to playing D-1 football after not making the most of his opportunities out of high school...

Maresh prepped at Champlin (Mn.) Park High School and signed with Minnesota over an offer from Iowa as well as interest from several other Big Ten and MAC schools. However, after a year with the Golden Gophers, the talented linebacker needed a change of scenery and Iowa Western gave him the opportunity to start fresh in a new environment.

"I actually had a few things happen there (at Minnesota)," Maresh admitted to "First, I had to have open-heart surgery for a birth-defect they found when they gave me a routine physical.

"Everything is just fine now, but it was something that needed to be fixed and taken care of.

"I also got into some trouble too -- I got a couple of Minor In Possessions (MIPs) and I wasn't doing too well in schools -- so I just decided I needed to leave and make a new start for me and a coach (at Minnesota) said that Iowa Western was probably a great place for me to get back on track."

As a redshirt freshman starter for the Rievers in 2010, Maresh was all over the place, posting 80 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss and three forced fumbles while helping to lead them to a 9-2 record.

"I'm a good run-stopper because of my size and my recognition skills," Maresh noted. "I can move sideline-to-sideline and I'm good in coverage too.

"This year, my focus is on knowing our defense even better so I'm just going on my instincts instead of thinking. I want to be a leader and help lead us to a National Championship and I think we have the team to do that this year."

With his outstanding size, athleticism and sure-tackling, Maresh is already getting quite a bit of early attention, although he's still waiting on that all-important first offer.

"I've talked with a lot of schools this spring and some are really interested in me, but they haven't offered yet," Maresh said. "The schools I've talked to the most are Iowa State, Utah, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kansas State and Wisconsin and there are a couple of others, but those are the main ones.

"I'm just looking for another opportunity to play ball at the highest level and I feel like I've gotten things straightened out, I'm healthy and I'm ready to show people I can get it done."

Maresh is on pace to get his AA degree in December and he will have two years to play two wherever he ends up.

Sam Maresh Scout Profile

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