November 14, 2012

Recruiting Rewind: Raymond Maples

When Rivals.com running back Raymond Maples made his change his mind commitment to Army, it came as complete surprise as the 2-star prospect out of West Catholic High School showed the Black Knights' staff why Philadelphia is called the "City of Brotherly Love". And the love affair between Maples, the staff and the Army fans hasn't stopped.

Let's take a look back and forward as GBK recaptures the moment in time.

February 5, 2009
Army receives a surprise commit

A week before National Signing Day, GBK.com reported that Army still had several very highly targeted prospects on their recruiting board late in the recruiting period. One of the potential pieces to the Black Knights' 2009 class was running back Raymond Maples.

That same weekend, the 6-foot-0, 195-pounder took his official visit to Army and liked what he heard and what he saw. "I loved it," declared Maples, upon returning from West Point and back to his home of Philadelphia (PA). "Army is number one on my list."

However, just days before signing day, Maples made a verbal commitment to the University of Richmond and the fans on Spidernation.com (Rivals.com) were elated. However, if there was any recruiting season that you wouldn't want to count your eggs before they were hatched, this is the season.

"I called Coach Holmes the day before signing day and told him I wanted to commit and sign with Army," shares Maples. "The staff was excited and glad … and so am I."

Why the change? "I had to rethink everything and thought about my life … that's when I felt that West Point was the best fit for me," describes the Philadelphia (PA) West Catholic High School running back.

Unfortunately for Maples, along Penn State bound and teammate Curtis Drake, West Catholic was close due to a snow day and they were unable to have a signing ceremony. "Coach Holmes said that he wished I had a ceremony, but I was able to fax my information in," says the newest Black Knight as he shares a final comment. "Beat Navy."

The Past meets The Present

Although during Maples 3-year career at Army, he and his teammates have yet to make those words ("Beat Navy") come to past. However, after taking down Air Force 41-21 on Nov. 3rd, the Black Knights are on course for Dec. 8th showdown with Navy for all the marbles. Yes, the CIC Trophy is at stake, but trophy or no trophy, the fact that it's the Midshipmen says it all.

The 6-foot-1, 215 pounder has touched the ball 181 times in Army's triple option offense, which has netted 965 yards (5.33), which puts him on course for having back to back 1,000 yard rushing seasons.

"I really didn't set aside any personal goals, honestly, I just wanted to get better from last year and improve upon my stats from last year and I appear to be on track for that," said Maples during his interview with GoBlackKnights.com on October 16th. "To me a 1,000 yards is a lot, but it's kind of mediocre. In today's realm you have backs that get like 2,000 or 2,500 yards. The fact of me hitting a thousand is all good, but I want to do better than that."

Needless to say, Army coaches and fans were excited when Philadelphia native decommitted three years ago and they are equally excited to know that he has one more season left to wear the Black & Goal of Army.


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