Clemson's Brandon Maye Ready to Take Game to Another Level


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CLEMSON – Clemson sophomore linebacker Brandon Maye fashioned himself a pretty good freshman season in 2008, which included 87 tackles, two sacks and five tackles for loss, good for first-team All-American honors by the Football Writers Association.

Now, he says he is ready to take it to the next level.

“I told Coach Swinney I want to put it on my back, and he said he wants me to lead the defense,” Maye, from Mobile, Alabama said. “He told me he wants me to be the quarterback of the defense, wants it in my hands and wants me to step up. So I have been working hard, gotten up to 240 [pounds], and working on my body, getting ready for a long season.”

Maye said that all of the summer workouts and will be worth it once fall practice starts this week.

“It seems like this [the workouts] have been going on for forever,” he said. “But fall practice is close. We have been through the mat drills, and running and all the summer workouts, and now we’re moving towards the actual season. I am ready for it.”

Maye said that he knows he has work to do if wants to be a leader on what should be a deep and talented Tiger defense, but some former Tiger greats have been back on campus during the summer and he has learned from them.

“The biggest thing for me is that some of the guys, like Anthony Waters and Philip Merling, they have been back here and I’ve trying to let some of what they know rub off on me,” Maye said. “I see that I need to lead by example, so I’ve been working hard, trying to finish my runs first, be a leader. And I will also try and be a vocal leader.”

New defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said he wants Maye to build off of his freshman season.

“I was very impressed with his freshman year based on what I saw on film,” Steele said. “He has a high motor and unlimited potential. He is aggressive and has a lot of energy. We are looking forward to watching him build on a fine freshman year.”

For his part, Maye said that he is also looking forward to being a part of what should be an aggressive Tiger defense.

“Man, the sky is the limit for us this season,” Maye said. “We have so many great players. The safeties are great, the corners are great, and we have some many great players on the defensive line. At linebacker, we could be a little thin, but when it comes down to it, we’ll be ready to go. We have a great schedule and some great teams to play.”

Playing in Steele’s aggressive scheme is also something that Maye is looking forward to as the season approaches.

“Coach Steele, he brings a whole different attitude to the game,” Maye said. “Coach [Vic] Koenning, he was a great coach, but Coach Steele just has that whole attitude. He wants to blitz you and have the quarterback back there shaking. He makes it so it is fun, because you get after people.”

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