Mount Hebron coach proud of Penn State's Maybin
Mount Hebron's head football coach Ross Hannon stood in the school's main office Tuesday with something like a proud expression on his face. As he stood there, he watched his former player Aaron Maybin greet other school officials and teachers with warm handshakes and hugs.
The Penn State redshirt sophomore had returned to his high school to announce he would be declaring himself for the NFL's April draft, and Hannon couldn't have been more pleased.
"Aaron is larger than life at this school," said Hannon shortly after Maybin had made his announcement in the school auditorium. "Our current student body probably believes he walks on water. He's a shining star. He's exactly what every head coach hopes his players can be. A hard working, committed student athlete."
Maybin, 6 feet 4, 245 pounds, not only earned All-America honors this season playing defensive end for the Nittany Lions, he completed work on his degree with a double major in integrated art and communication.
"That auditorium was filled not only with our current students, but with former students and the parents of former students from five and 10 years ago," said Hannon. "It's great to bring everyone at Mount Hebron together."
Maybin was what Hannon called "the base" of the Vikings' football program from 2002 until his graduation in 2006. In the span the Vikings achieved the best records in Mount Hebron's history. They produced 7-4 and 8-2 records in consecutive years and went to the playoffs in 2004 for the first time since 1982.
This season, while a busy one at Penn State -- Maybin led the Lions and the Big 10 in sacks with 12 and also led the team in tackles for losses with 20, and in forced fumbles with three -- he still found time to return during the Vikings' regular season to show his support.
"He's gone from here, but he never left," said Hannon. "He was first team All-American and a finalist for the Bednarik Trophy that goes to the best defensive lineman in the country, and yet, I'd turn around at one of our games and there he'd be on our sidelines encouraging our kids."
Maybin said he knows he is headed into a whole new world where there are ample opportunities for a personality change, what with all the money and adulation, but he said by phone yesterday that he doesn't think he will be negatively impacted by his coming situation.
"I have a very solid foundation and a great support system," Maybin said. "I have an amazing family. I don't see my core values changing. I don't see myself changing. There are new opportunities ahead and I'm excited about them, but I know no one is ever going to make it any further than the next person who helps you on your road.
"That's why I come back to Mount Hebron when I have a free opportunity. Many people did it [gave time and support] to me. It's my responsibility to give it back to the people coming after me."