Will Maples Head Back to the South?

College of Sequoias (Calif.) defensive tackle Andy Maples (6-3, 295) had an easy description about his move from Alabama to the West Coast. "Culture shock. It was a big culture shock. But I got used to it," said Maples.

Maples ended up making a smooth transition and thanks to being able to focus on football, he parlayed a good freshman season into a handful of offers, well before he kicks off his sophomore year.

"I've been offered by Mississippi State, Nebraska, Missouri, Texas Tech and Washington State," said Maples.  "Nevada likes me a lot too."

Maples graduated from Lester (Ala.) West Limestone in 2005 and grew up an Alabama fan.  His lone offer, though, was from Tennessee-Chattanooga, which he took, but didn't qualify.

So he got in touch with the coaching staff at COS.

"I called and asked them if they took a look at my tapes.  They took a look and said to come out here and play.  So I'm bringing that south flavor with some of my boys," said Maples, which includes several natives of the South.

Maples will graduate in the spring of 2007, enabling him to sign in February and be gone by the summer.

And while he'd love to return to Alabama, or even the SEC, he's not getting tunnel vision.

"It doesn't have to be the SEC.  Anywhere a D-I school offers, I'll have to look at it.  I'm just hoping to go anywhere.  Its my dream to play major college football," said Maples.  "I've been talking with my counselor to see what schools are best for me.  I'll have three years to play two."

Maples said he'd like to take some official trips, and would only make an early decision if it's the right fit.

"I'd like to go back to the South if it works, and it would be an early decision if it was down there.  Otherwise, I'll wait," said Maples.

Maples was at the JCFootball.com Combine in San Jose, choosing only to do the bench, which he did 23 reps on 225.


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