Lorenzo Mauldin inks with Louisville, puts S. Carolina oversigning saga behind him

Lorenzo Mauldin has decided to cast his lot with coach Charlie Strong and the Louisville Cardinals. (Photo by Langston Sandlin/Z3 Photography)

Lorenzo Mauldin has decided to cast his lot with coach Charlie Strong and the Louisville Cardinals. (Photo by Langston Sandlin/Z3 Photography)

Lorenzo Mauldin finally did last week what he thought he was going to do more than a month ago. The defensive end from Atlanta’s Maynard Jackson signed a national letter-of-intent to play football on scholarship in college.

Only this LOI was not from South Carolina, as he expected it to be when he committed to the Gamecocks last July. Mauldin signed instead with Louisville. With a little luck and some more hard work, he’ll join the Cardinals for preseason practices in August.

“South Carolina was, you know, planning on me signing with them after prep school,” said Mauldin, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound senior. “I don’t believe they thought I would make the [qualifying test] score. It kind of made me feel like they were wishing for me to not make the score.

“[Louisville] Coach [Charlie] Strong had faith in me from the beginning. He said he believes I’m going to make the score and said I could be out there with them in no time. They were straight forward with me. There wasn’t a bunch of playing around with the whole thing. So I decided to take his offer and become a Cardinal.”

Mauldin went into the national signing period expecting to sign with the Gamecocks. But Mauldin and Maynard Jackson coach Eric Williams were informed on Feb. 1 — the day before national signing day — via a faxed letter that South Carolina had overcommitted its allotment of scholarships. Since they had not yet achieved minimum test scores, Mauldin and one other commitment, linebacker Jordan Montgomery of Groveland, Fla., were asked to not sign their letters-of-intent.

Since he already had a signing ceremony planned, Mauldin went through the motions on Feb. 2. He signed a fake LOI and put on a South Carolina cap for cameras at his school. The Gamecocks went on to sign 32 other players to national letters, including the nation’s No. 1 recruit, Jadeveon Clowney, who did not sign until Feb. 14.

A ward of the state who has lived in 16 foster homes and two children’s shelters, Mauldin at first vowed to stick with South Carolina. But he eventually decided to re-open his recruitment and took an official visit to Louisville three weeks ago. To little fanfare, he signed an LOI with the Cardinals in his coach’s office last week and faxed it to Louisville.

“In life, I’ve had to make big decisions and I just saw this one as another big decision,” said Mauldin, who refers to himself as Lorenzo “Doinitalone” Mauldin on his Facebook page. “The way South Carolina did me was not an ideal situation because I didn’t expect it to happen. But it did, so when it came down to it, I just took it as another trial in life and decided to overcome it. So I went on some visits to see what other teams had to offer and I liked Louisville.”

Mauldin still has the matter of qualifying for freshman eligibility to overcome. He has been taking ACT/SAT courses at Georgia State and has attempted the tests a number of times.

“I actually just took the SAT two weekends ago,” Mauldin said. “I felt pretty good about. If not, I have another chance to take it. I don’t know whether I’ll take the SAT again but I’m going to continue to take the ACT.”

Louisville offered him the option of coming in as a non-qualifier, but Mauldin said he’ll likely still go the prep school route if he continues to come up short on the entrance exams. At prep school he can continue to study for and take the exams without his eligibility clock starting. As soon as be achieves the minimum score he would be eligible to enroll.

“I believe my best bet would be to go to prep school,” Mauldin said. “As a non-qualifier, there would be the advantage of getting to know my professors and the school and everything, but football is the reason I’m going there and that’s the main factor. I couldn’t practice with team, so I feel like I’d be better off getting bigger and stronger while working on the test.”

Mauldin said he did not inform South Carolina of his decision and hasn’t spoke with its coaches for a while.

“I’m sure they found out through media,” he said. “They still haven’t contacted me and I haven’t made an effort to contact them either. Once again, I felt like there was some favoritism going on there. I kind of gave up on that situation.”

Thankfully, Mauldin has yet to give up on himself.

By Chip Towers, The College Recruiting Blog

104 comments Add your comment

Viking87

March 21st, 2011
1:11 pm

Congratulations to the young man! Hope he does well and think he ended up in a better situation with Coach Strong and Louisville.

joe

March 21st, 2011
1:15 pm

Good for him!

Reality Check

March 21st, 2011
1:18 pm

Hopefully everything will work out at Lousiville even if he has to go the Prep School route. Anyone associated with South Carolina should be embarrassed about this situation and to notify this kid 1 day before signing day is pathetic. Coach Strong appears to have some class and hopefully will have a good influence on Mr. Mauldin’s life. If I were a USC committment in the future I would make sure I had my test score first. Come to South Carolina where a committment only goes one way.

Dubbayoo

March 21st, 2011
1:31 pm

If you can call a recruit or come to his home to offer a scholarship why the heck can’t you at least pick up a phone and call to say you’re rescinding the offer? That is just gutless.

GoldenDawg

March 21st, 2011
1:31 pm

Congratulations. I hope you do well. You can make it.

gcs

March 21st, 2011
1:32 pm

See, everything worked out. Mauldin wasn’t thrown out in the street. He did not become a crack addict or turn to a life of crime.

You oversigning conspiracy theorists need to calm down.

.

JDawg1785

March 21st, 2011
1:35 pm

Good to hear things are finally working out for this young man. He’ll be in good hands with Coach Strong up in Louisville.

Score Check

March 21st, 2011
1:37 pm

SOS needs to learn how to manage his numbers like Satan has.

Look for some over-signing fallout coming from Satan and crew. Oh that’s right plenty of medical hardships to go around.

LOL

please

March 21st, 2011
1:37 pm

From ESPN.com:

“Yes, the Gamecocks offered Mauldin a scholarship last July. And, yes, Mauldin accepted. But he was also told that there was a chance he might have to wait until January 2012 before enrolling on scholarship, which is more commonly referred to as grayshirting.

South Carolina coaches told him that possibility would only strengthen if he had not met NCAA entrance requirements prior to signing day.

Two weeks prior to signing day, South Carolina coaches reminded Mauldin that there might not be a scholarship available in this signing class.

So, at least, it sounds like South Carolina was upfront with Mauldin that he might have to attend prep school and/or wait until January to go on scholarship.”

St.Petedawg

March 21st, 2011
1:37 pm

I’m so glad he ended up going to Louisville, instead of South Carolina. I get the feeling he is going to be a great get for Charlie Strong.

Oversigning and Nick Saban

March 21st, 2011
2:03 pm

In past five years through the 2010 signing class 25 of 120 FBS programs averaged more than 25 signees

That list includes eight of 12 SEC schools and five of current Big 12 teams. AU and Ole Miss are the worst SEC offenders.

The oft criticized Nick Saban, who landed a class of 22 for the class of 2011, is middle of the pack in the SEC in 6th place in terms of oversigning through 2010. After adding in the 2011 numbers for which the tide only took 22 commits Alabama would slip to 8th in the SEC behind LSU and South Carolina in terms of oversigning. The Georgia bulldogs oversigned in the 2011 class with 26 signees- one over the limit.

Troy has signed 164 players over that span, a staggering average of 32.8
Team-by-team look at class size over a 5 year span

School Conference 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 Total Average
Troy Sun Belt 34 40 33 32 25 164 32.8
Ole Miss SEC 25 37 31 22 30 145 29
Auburn SEC 32 28 29 30 25 144 28.8
Mississippi State SEC 26 27 27 34 24 138 27.6
Kansas State Big 12 17 25 32 33 30 137 27.4
Temple MAC 25 28 26 30 27 136 27.2
Southern Miss C-USA 26 22 27 32 28 135 27
Arkansas SEC 25 31 25 27 26 134 26.8
Kentucky SEC 26 29 20 29 30 134 26.8
Alabama SEC 26 27 32 25 23 133 26.6
Iowa State Big 12 28 25 25 25 30 133 26.6
LSU SEC 29 24 26 26 26 131 26.2

bigtime

March 21st, 2011
2:14 pm

Congratulations to him for landing on his feet. This is what people should talk about when mentioning oversigning because this is obviously wrong by the Ole Ball Coach . The way that Spurrier handled this is a joke.

Blue

March 21st, 2011
2:21 pm

Dubbayoo; well said.
GCS; yes, because clearly the fact that this one situation worked out and “he did not become a crack addict or turn to a life of crime”, that definitely proves it is not a problem. You must have been on the debate team in school, right?

Hal

March 21st, 2011
2:43 pm

Oversigning is a stategy that allows you to pick the best of the catch and throw the rest back in. Another thing it does is keep players away from your competition in and out of conference. But most of all it teaches the 18 year kids who get caught up in it a valuable lesson as they enter the real world.

devildawg

March 21st, 2011
3:06 pm

Wow, I know everybody isn’t a genius, but how many times does it take to get a qualifying ACT score? I’m surprised he can find the front door of the school. Sorry, but thats pathetic.

Proud-Dawg

March 21st, 2011
3:49 pm

@please……………..ESPN is the TMZ of sports. They sensationalize stories and protect their investment, the SEC. I wish Mauldin great success, good luck!

K Conley

March 21st, 2011
4:03 pm

@ Proud-Dawg, well put, ESPN is a joke and every true sports fan knows it.

@ bigtime, you guys are almost done aren’t you. Man, talk about getting it done quickly, that class is shaping up nicely for you guys. Looks like we will be able to keep Leonard Floyd away from Saban’s clutches however. Thankfully, he seems to be interested in representing the home state.

@ steve spurrier, piss off. I can’t stand you. I’ll give you credit that you’ve been an innovative offensive coach over a long period of time, but I would never pull for a team that you represented. Never necessary in life to be a jerk. You are old enough now that you will never get it.

RRTDawgs

March 21st, 2011
4:12 pm

K. Conley did you here the news about Geno Smith will be in Athens for UGA’s Junior day hey bigtime i guess heard about Mark Barron arrest tough break for you guys .

sidelined observer

March 21st, 2011
4:22 pm

devildawg says, “Wow, I know everybody isn’t a genius, but how many times does it take to get a qualifying ACT score? I’m surprised he can find the front door of the school. Sorry, but thats pathetic.”

devildawg, how many foster homes have you lived in? sheesh. Lorenzo seems to be one tough and resilient kid who probably has a lot more on his mind than a bubble test could measure. Congratulations to LM for landing on his feet again. All the best for a great career at Louisville and beyond.

dawgster

March 21st, 2011
4:24 pm

@RRTDawgs…Barren’s charge appears to be a misdemeanor just like many of the dawgs players have had from time to time…I think Saban will handle well, probably some in house punishment..I hope everyone, dawg fans included don’t make too much out of it. You can read a little about it on Bama 247 sports…Hopefully the dawgs will get thru the spring and summer with little or any problems….I think the dawgs have got some things in place that will curb alot of this misc stuff. Will you prevent all of it….No…but so far its been pretty quiet in Athens…Lets keep it that way…go dawgs

Beast from the East

March 21st, 2011
4:25 pm

“@ steve spurrier, piss off. I can’t stand you. I’ll give you credit that you’ve been an innovative offensive coach over a long period of time, but I would never pull for a team that you represented. Never necessary in life to be a jerk. You are old enough now that you will never get it.”

Seriously? Pot meet kettle.

trupert

March 21st, 2011
4:27 pm

@ Oversigning and Nick Saban. Funny how a Alabama fan can come up with exact numbers on Sabans oversigned recruits when Saban will not release the exact numbers of players on scholarship to the media.

Yes, some have probably signed a few more players but I don’t know of any team that hands out so many medical hardship scholarships, so your numbers are off do to all those healthy Medical hardship players alone. Saban is just as guilty.

KD

March 21st, 2011
4:41 pm

This kids seems to really have a great head on his shoulders. In all this talk about what SC did wrong, what’s not been mentioned is the right way this kid is handling the situation. For someone that’s had a lot of bad happen to him in his short life he seems to know how to effectively deal with the bad without casting blame on SC (even though they really screwed up).

I am so impressed with this kid because I’m sure most of the commentors on this site could deal with half the stuff this kid does.

Gcock

March 21st, 2011
4:44 pm

Good riddance!!!!!!!!

RRTDawgs

March 21st, 2011
4:51 pm

Hey dawgster agree i was also reading on 247 sports that UGA is setting up some type of leadership group to help mentor football players to stay out of trouble this is long over do i am sure Ray Drew had a hand in this group as well go dawgs .

Ramblin Man

March 21st, 2011
5:16 pm

Good luck to the kid.

RTR!!!

March 21st, 2011
5:32 pm

@dawgster

Classy post. Thanks for citing facts over flame fanning with the Baron deal. He was definitely wrong, but far from a serious offense. I think some step running and possibly a half to whole game suspension for the Kent St. game.

I’m glad this kid found a home. I hope SC knows this will hurt their recruiting in the metro area, as this has become a familiar storyline over the last few weeks. Well, I guess you reap what you sow.

Freehawk

March 21st, 2011
5:32 pm

This is not an oversigning story – this is a “nonqualifier” story.

Sorry that SC could not sign him, but we signed Jadeveon Clowney instead. It’s not little league where everybody gets to play equal amounts. It’s the SEC where we are going to hand UGA their helmets again this season.

Don’t see the UGA fans making a place for him?

Freehawk

March 21st, 2011
5:34 pm

Sure wasn’t much coverage, Tim, of UGA getting secondary violations for the Isaiah Crowell stunt and the Rome signing stunt, both violations which were detailed at the time by the AJC. Are you the same guy who took photos of the recruits with the UGA coaches and got them in trouble for that too?

Freehawk

March 21st, 2011
5:35 pm

Hey RTR, we signed a bunch of kids in Metro Atlanta and always will.

RTR!!!

March 21st, 2011
5:49 pm

@ Freehawk

I’ll be surprised if that trend continues. Especially once the other teams in the East return to their former dominance.

RRTDawgs

March 21st, 2011
6:25 pm

With Bama almost done early UGA can take advantage get some bigtime blue chip recruits like Geno Smith, Greyson Lambert , Ricky Parks and Lenard Floyd .

graycladcat

March 21st, 2011
7:21 pm

you know I’m wondering why Louisville, if the kid still wanted to play in the SEC, UK was recruiting him at one time. We backed off probably on the eligibilty but I bet we would have gave him another look since the South Carolina fiasco.

RRTDawgs

March 21st, 2011
7:26 pm

Yea SC will probably regret over signing and letting this kid go i am happy he found home Charlie Strong knows defense and will be use him some type of package .

thwg

March 21st, 2011
7:47 pm

spare me the ‘congrats’ from all the dawgs – you guys are just glad he’s not going to be in the SEC to add to the pain your pathetic program is already going to endure next year. Only one problem with that: Jadeveon Clowney. I can’t wait to hear the whines when Clowney is b#$%^ch slapping Murray around just like Auburn did last year.

RRTDawgs

March 21st, 2011
7:59 pm

Thwg you need grow up at least us dawg fans are showing some class by the way UGA will be a much better team this year than last year adding Crowell, Rome , Mitchell , Ray Drew , and Swann .

he didn't qualify

March 21st, 2011
8:00 pm

so SC went elsewhere. and they told him 2 weeks before the deadline that it might happen. Best to take a kid who’s qualified than waiting on a “what if” who may never make it

apparently this happens on a yearly basis in the SEC. so why is this a story?

thwg

March 21st, 2011
8:22 pm

RRTDawgs, how are you going to be any better next year with no OL and with all these freshmen except Crowell redshirted? Besides, Crowell isn’t even close to Lattimore. Also, not sure what the big deal is, UGA has had better recruiting classes than this one and is usually in the top 5 or 8 anyway. So explain to me why this is any different. Sounds like desperation from being irrelavent in the SEC. Last post I saw had UGA the 7th best team in the ….. SEC…..next year.

thwg

March 21st, 2011
8:23 pm

Unfortunately for us, this means Richt is likely gone after this year which is a shame for everyone else on the UGA schedule.

thwg

March 21st, 2011
8:25 pm

BTW RRTDawg – you’re the first person I’ve ever hear use the word ‘class’ and ‘dawgs’ in the same sentence.

Lorenzo=Cards

March 21st, 2011
8:26 pm

LorenzoM has been working his hardest if he has taking these tests so many times i mean hey not everyone is a great test taker. continue to do your best Lorenzo you have pulled yourself out of many of troubles this one is just a minor setback that needs to be addressed. Happy for you
Go Cards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dawg

March 21st, 2011
8:27 pm

sorry to hear how you were treated by Father Superior and I hope you are a first round draft choice…Best of luck…

Rhall55

March 21st, 2011
8:30 pm

Chip,
Why was everyone on vacation when Dunker made his visit? He said he felt @ home with U of FL and not @ the other schools; no wonder; all the Coaches except CJL were on vacation and the students were on Spring Break; did not get the feel of UGA!!! Bad timing for the UGA Staff w/ one of the best tackles in the South!! One great recruiting year doesn’t make a champion!! Muschamp and Saban are after the best in GA this year and are well ahead of CMR; Coach Freind on vacation also; he just started his job; disappointed in this group so far; only (2) commits!!!

Unclassy 'Cocks

March 21st, 2011
8:58 pm

So he may or may not have been told upfront by the SC coaches about the consequences of not qualifying before signing day. To me, the big issue here is [if it's true] he wasn’t even afforded the courtesy of a phone call regarding SC’s intentions and request to not sign his LOI. It came by FAX. A real man would have at least had a conversation over the phone. Or, at least delegated one of his coaches to speak with him over the phone. Very Unclassy.

RRTDawgs

March 21st, 2011
8:59 pm

Will see what happens thwg its a new season new players we have a new S&C program Crowell is not going to redshirt all indications he is going to start you can bash the program all you want Richt knows he on the hot seat and will coach his butt this year and use this great class to his advantage .

bitter ole ball coach

March 21st, 2011
8:59 pm

yes my golf partner goes by lorenzo———iss that what your talking about????love my golf

[...] a three-star defensive end by ESPN.com, has signed a letter of intent with the Cardinals after some earlier drama with South Carolina. Mauldin committed to the Gamecocks, but the day before signing day he and another player received [...]

TigerPaw52

March 21st, 2011
9:39 pm

The coots keep talking about the kid didn’t qualify is just another poor A$$ excuse on their part, as usual. They keep throwing in there that they chose the better Clowney instead. They failed to say that Clowney played the recruiting game for all that it was worth, and wasn’t sure Clowney was a sure thing. And while waiting on Clowney 12 days after signing day, Clowney staill hadn’t QUALIFIED the day of signing his LOI to USUC Coots. They have been riding the coat tails of the SEC for over 20 years. When they are beating up on teams like SC State and the Furmans of college sports, the fans in the stands CHANT SEC SEC SEC. They are very proud of the title even though, untill last season, they have been no more than a door mat team of the SEC. For over 20 years, the real SEC teams like UGA, Auburn, Bama, LSU and some others, saw USUC as an OOC team, a given win. And just like the rest of the easy OOC teams, the coots would get lucky and win a shouldn’t have won game….

Seriously

March 21st, 2011
9:40 pm

And now Chip, will you put this saga behind you? You had a story to talk about every day and it has ended nicely for this kid. SIncerely hope he qualifies and does well. Over signing happens and until the NCAA does anything about it, it will continue. Now, go find something else to write about since you drove this one into the ground.

dawgster

March 21st, 2011
10:08 pm

Don’t want to make too much out of this as its extremely early, but after the great recruiting class the dawgs had, I would have thought the momentum would continue. It seems we are lagging behind many SEC schools in committments. Again, its early, but I’m sommewhat disappointed that we are not able to get any committments at this point. I know we have several offers out there, but were not closing the doors with any of them it doesn’t appear….I’ll worry more towards the end of next season, howeve….just thought I would see what some others on here thought…go dawgs