Posts tagged ‘Aaron Maybin’
When linebacker Navorro Bowman hauled in an interception in the third quarter of Saturday’s game against Indiana and headed for the end zone, one thought flashed through his mind:
I cannot be caught by the quarterback.
That, he said, would have been humiliating. Far worse than being tackled by a punter or kicker. “Quarterbacks are the ones wearing the red jerseys; you can’t touch them,” he explained, grinning. “So don’t touch me.”
No one did. Bowman rumbled 73 yards to the end zone for his second defensive touchdown of the season, one that gave the Nittany Lions their first lead of the game, 17-10 midway through the third quarter. If that was his last game in Beaver Stadium—a distinct possibility, given that he is projected as a first-round pick in the NFL Draft—Bowman certainly went out in style.
He also assured that he’d get a lot less ribbing for his second defensive touchdown of the season than he did for his first. When he returned a fumble 91 yards for a touchdown against Eastern Illinois, he was—to put it politely—exhausted when he reached the end zone. He could barely stumble back to the sideline. So led by defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, who’s got a great sense of humor, his teammates let him have it for nearly running out of gas.
Which is why outrunning Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell was so important. “Everybody would have been clowning me if I’d been tackled by the quarterback,” Bowman said.
And which is why he so appreciated that there were 18 fewer yards between him and the end zone on this touchdown run. “Ninety-one yards got me,” he said. “God’s looking out for me, cutting down the yards for me.”
Bowman spent much of the postgame fielding questions about whether he, like the 19 seniors honored in a pregame ceremony, had played his final game in Beaver Stadium. He even rang the Victory Bell on his way off the field, although he said it wasn’t a symbolic gesture. “They asked me to do it,” he said, although he was unsure exactly who “they” was. He assumes it was some students.
Bowman, whose off-field issues have been well documented, said he would evaluate whether he would return for his final year of eligibility. He said he’ll consult with his family, his former Penn State roommate Aaron Maybin, who turned pro after last season and was rewarded with a handsome contract by the Buffalo Bills, and LaVar Arrington, who has been a mentor for years. “I’m blessed to be in a position to be able to make this choice,” Bowman said.
Being a first-round pick matters, he said.
“I want to be the best,” he said. “That’s why you get up at 5 or 6 a.m. Just to be the best.”
Lori Shontz, senior editor
Or so ESPN.com reports.
Ryan Jones says my blog post yesterday was just the push they needed.
Tina Hay, editor
I saw an article a week or so ago that explained that it’s typical for first-round picks to wait for the players who were drafted ahead of them to sign contracts (so they can see how much money those guys are going to get) before they finalize their own contracts. It made sense to me.
But yesterday’s Buffalo News has a commentary by Jerry Sullivan that argues pretty persuasively that Maybin’s holdout has gone on too long.
The Bills are ready to slot him into the No. 11 spot and make him rich beyond his wildest imaginings. It’s time to sign a contract, get on the field, and start figuring out what it takes to be a productive NFL defensive end.
Sullivan points out that Maybin is likely to make at least $25 million over the next five years—just a bit more than you or I were making at the age of 21, huh?
Maybin should be thanking his lucky stars. A year ago, he was a sophomore backup at Penn State. If suspensions and injuries hadn’t opened up a spot, Maybin might be preparing for the opener against Akron today.
Less than one year as a college starter and he’s worth $25 million. Great country, eh? Maybin is lucky the NFL hasn’t negotiated a rookie salary cap. The current system, which showers millions on unproven players, is absurd.
Sullivan’s commentary is pretty thought-provoking and well worth a read. Head to the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of this post and let me know what you think.
Tina Hay, editor
A few months ago, they were winning championships as Penn State student athletes. Now, these former Nittany Lions are into (or on the verge of) promising pro careers. A story in this week’s Centre Daily Times tells us that Nicole Fawcett, the women’s volleyball All-American featured in our current cover story, is now playing professionally in Puerto Rico. Apparently, Fawcett played her first match for Tus Gigantes de Carolina two weeks ago, just hours after she landed in San Juan. “It was a little weird coming off the plane and taking an hour nap and then going and playing right away,” Fawcett told the CDT.
Closer to home, Penn State held its annual Pro Day on Wednesday. It’s sort of a smaller, localized version of the NFL combine, where pro scouts and coaches show up with stopwatches and tape measures in hand to get a close-up look at the Nittany Lions’ NFL prospects. Based on today’s coverage in the CDT and Harrisburg Patriot-News, defensive end Aaron Maybin and wide receiver Derrick Williams were sufficiently big, strong, and fast enough to solidify or improve their stock for next month’s draft.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
My friend Elaine Nell Keller ’68 in Boiling Springs, Pa., who follows Nittany Lion football even more closely than I do, called my attention to a story that ran this week on Aaron Maybin, Penn State’s All-American defensive end. In the piece, Maybin talks about the death of his mom when he was just 6 years old; the story is, needless to say, very sad. It’s a side of Maybin I never knew about.
Tina Hay, editor
A couple (more) Penn State football items on this Friday:
-Last night, senior AQ Shipley received the Rimington Trophy as the outstanding center in college football. Shipley was one of three Nittany Lions named to the Walter Camp All-American team: Sophomore defensive end Aaron Maybin joined him on the first team, and wideout/kick returner Derrick Williams—who on Sunday was named team MVP—earned second-team honors.
-Author, freelance writer, and occasional Penn Stater contributor Michael Weinreb ’94 Com has a great piece today on espn.com that compares the Big Ten’s football reputation to the precarious position of Detroit’s Big 3. My favorite lines:
“The Big 12 represents the future: the notion that you can actually outgain every opponent you face and win a national championship. Their coaches are quirky men with pirate fetishes, and their quarterbacks have names such as Colt. It’s all quite exciting. And the Big Ten? Its coaches have hip-replacement surgery and wear sweater vests, and its running backs have Depression-era nicknames like ‘Beanie.’”
Mike’s a good writer. He was also in my wedding, and I reserve the right to some day tell an embarrassing story about that in this space.
Ryan Jones, senior editor