“Actually,” Maybin said, “I thought I'd make a pretty good punter.”
A terrific athlete, Maybin probably could be a punter if he set his mind to it. But let the record show that he was only joking when he spoke to a group of reporters by conference call Tuesday night, a few hours after announcing during a motivational speech at his Maryland high school that he would skip his final two seasons of college eligibility to enter April's NFL Draft.
FOS broke the story of Maybin's decision last Friday but he waited until Tuesday to make his announcement.
Maybin, who stands 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, has been hailed by some draft analysts — notably ESPN's Todd McShay — as a potential first-round pick, even though he was a little-known backup when Penn State's 2008 season began. He led the Big Ten with 12 sacks and was named a first-team Associated Press All-American as a redshirt sophomore and was predictably enthused on Tuesday about moving up to the professional ranks, insisting that it didn't matter which position he ends up playing in the NFL.
“No matter what the team drafting me projects me as, I'll do whatever it takes to give them what they're looking for,” he said. “I'm versatile enough to play multiple positions. That's a positive.”
Maybin declined to say what he learned of his draft potential from the NFL advisory committee that guides underclassmen in their decisions. He said he spoke to Joe Paterno and defensive line coach Larry Johnson about coming out early and that “they were as supportive as can be of my decision.”
Maybin, who plans to add weight in advance of the NFL Combine next month, said he was not influenced by Johnson's possible departure. After spearheading the recruitment of many Maryland and Virginia prospects, the longtime Nittany Lion assistant is said to be under consideration as Illinois' defensive coordinator.
Maybin said he has an “extremely close” relationship with Johnson, but insisted he did not take into account the coach's future with Penn State and does not know whether he plans to leave. Said Maybin, “My decision had to do with me and my family and nobody else.”