Long process: Plaquemine's Maracalin signs with Southeastern
PLAQUEMINE - It may have taken a little longer than some could stand, but it was worth the wait for Plaquemine running back Julius Maracalin.
Maracalin signed a football scholarship to Southeastern Louisiana University on Wednesday morning in the school’s field house filled with family, friends, coaches and teammates.
The 5-10, 210-pound running back was one of the state’s leading rushers a year ago netting first-team all-state honors after rushing for 2,184 yards and 29 touchdowns last season while leading the Green Devils to their first district title in a decade and first quarterfinal playoff berth since 1987.
“It has been long process and I am glad it is finally over,” Maracalin said. “I passed on two scholarships and knew this might be my last chance, so I took it. They like to run the ball so that was key and they have gradually been getting better each season.”
The Lions are coached by Ron Roberts and finished 11-3 last season advancing to the NCAA Football Championship Series playoffs. The team is a member of the Southland Conference and plays its home games at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.
“It has been a long process but in the end I think it worked out best for Julius,” Plaquemine coach Paul Distefano said. “He stood strong behind his principles about where he wanted to be. There were some other schools that offered but he didn’t want to be too far away from his mama and I don’t blame him. I love my mama, too.
“I think it is a great situation for him and a great program. They are real excited to have him and it is only 45 minutes away.”
Maracalin held off signing during the NCAA signing period in February after he was offered scholarships by Texas Southern and Bryant. Southeastern was among others that offered a partial scholarship initially.
“I love my family and their support helps a lot,” Maracalin said. “We had adversity at the beginning of the season but we overcame it and had a good season. If I would have had the same season a year earlier, I think there would have been a lot more offers.
“You must have the mentality to work hard. I sacrificed my body a lot for the team but in football you must be a team player and there are some things you have to do.”
Maracalin rushed for over 1,000 yards a sophomore but was hampered with injuries his junior season finishing with 760 yards.
“It is a team effort but the game plan was designed around him carrying the load,” Distefano said. “Our approach was to keep the defense fresh and control the tempo of the game. We always won the time of possession and he was a huge part of that.”