It's July, which means it's basically football season, right? Well, we're certainly close. With that in mind, the BulldogBlitz.com Senior Spotlight continues today. Every day, until there are none left, we will profile one of Mississippi State's seniors entering their last year in Starkville.
No. 9 Brandon Maye, linebacker, 6-foot-2, 235-pounds
How did he get here? Unlike the rest of Mississippi State's seniors, Maye didn't arrive in Starkville four or five years ago. He didn't even arrive one a year ago. He arrived weeks ago as a transfer from Clemson. He switched to MSU under the rule that allowed student-athletes who have completed their four-year degree to transfer to a school with a graduate program not available at their current school. The rule allowed those players to be eligible for game action immediately. Maye led the Tiger defense in tackles during his sophomore year but was switched to outside linebacker from the middle in his junior year where he saw decreased time and production.
What did he do in 2010? Maye appeared in nine of Clemson's 13 games in 2010, starting in eight of them. With 43 total tackles, he was 11th on his team. He also recorded 1.5 tackles for loss, a half-sack and one pass break-up. Maye missed Clemson's first two games of the season against North Texas and Presbyterian College due to injury and later missed contests with Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. Maye did appear in games against two of MSU's 2011 opponents, Auburn and South Carolina. Auburn was Maye's first of 2010 and recorded one tackle in 29 snaps. He recorded four tackles in 44 snaps against the Gamecocks.
What does he need to do in 2011? Maye only has one year to create any kind of legacy at MSU, but he is on the right track so far, saying all the right things in interviews. He appears to have conviction when he says he wants to be known in Starkville for more than football. However, his production on the field will likely be how he is ultimately known. Maye has a good chance to start at middle linebacker, which he says coaches have told him will be his position. If he can re-create his early success at Clemson, he will certainly find his way onto the field and likely into the starting lineup. Despite it being his first year in campus, Maye will be looked to as a leader, as one of two seniors likely to start at the linebacker spots in 2011.
Coach's quote: Geoff Collins, linebackers coach: "I'm excited to work with him. He's a great kid to be around. He's a hard worker and gives great effort from what everybody has said. On a personal level he is a great kid. I haven't worked with him yet on the field but the person that he is makes me excited to coach him."
"It was the same scheme they run at Alabama so all the terminology that they use over there is identical to what they use at Clemson with Kevin Steele. I'm very familiar with the terms that [Maye] uses and that he's heard for the last two years. It's an easy transition because I've told him all along if you are going to learn a new language then the person needs to know the language that you are speaking and I know the language he is coming from. When we start getting to work together it will be a smooth transition."