Aaron Maybin: Defensive MVP For Penn State?

Ryan StaloffContributor ISeptember 23, 2008

    He was a member of the Second All American Team and First Team All Big Ten.. He had the third most amount of sacks in all of the conerence  NFL Draft Scouts were already predicting the junior to be a top ten pick. Therefore, when police caught Maurice Evans with marijuana on September 3, the concern demonstrated by Penn State fans was certainly understandable  At  6 foot 2 264 pounds,  Evans figured to be one of the top defensive ends in the country.  He anchored the team’s defensive line in the 2007 season and figured to be the defensive leader in 2008.  Now without Maurice Evans, and a possible Dick Butkus Award Winning linebacker Sean Lee, how could the Penn State defense ever be able to compete with the offenses of Illinois, Ohio State and Wisconsin.
    The defenses’ potential troubles extended far beyond the losses of these two great players.  Along with Lee and Evans, Abe Karoma, Jared Odrick, Jerome Hayes, and A.J Wallace have all missed time. Combine that with the already sour reputation the program has received for past run ins with the law,  and the 2008 season was off to a disastrous start. 
    Despite losing six key defensive players, the Penn State defense has hardly missed a beat. Why?  While missing this large quantity of talent might decimate other programs, it only opens doors for Penn State.  Ollie Ogbu, Navarro Bowman, and Josh Hull have all stepped up and filled huge holes to help bolster the team’s defense.  None of these players though, have made as great an impact as Aaron Maybin. 
    When Maurice Evans was forced off the field, Tom Bradley finally got the opportunity to release the beast that is Aaron Maybin. Some say he is not big enough.  Some say he is not experienced enough, or he is not good enough at stopping the run. But despite what all the doubters, Aaron Maybin has dominated the line of scrimmage. Through 4 games thus far this season and only 3 starts, Aaron Maybin leads the Big Ten with six sacks, and has helped the Nittany Lions to the third best pass rush in all of college football. 
    While many athletes in his mold (6 ft 4, 248 lbs) are found at tight end, linebacker, or in some cases running back, Maybin’s inhumane tenacity and strength allow him to dig his hand into the dirt, inches away from a man 50 pounds heavier than he, and pummel him into the ground.   His strength, speed, and agility, are unlike anyone at his size or position.  It is only week 4 in Happy Valley, and he is already giving opposing coaches and quarterbacks headaches.  If he keeps this up, come early January,  these headaches might turn into full blown concussions, and the venue might be the National Championship game in  Florida rather than a regular season Happy Valley contest.