Tyler Maples is visiting the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga today. The wide receiver is looking for a new place to play after leaving the Knoxville branch of the university earlier this month.
A former Mr. Football winner at Maryville High School, Maples will be guided by the newest member of the Mocs, former Volunteers teammate B.J. Coleman. Coleman signed with UTC last Thursday.
"I'm going to show him around the Chattanooga area and the campus and facilities," Coleman said. "Hopefully it will give him the warm-and-fuzzy feeling, and a sense of the family atmosphere, that I feel."
Like Coleman, Maples redshirted at UT in 2007, got limited action last fall and still has three years of eligibility remaining. And like Coleman, he would be eligible to play right away because he's transferring to a lower-division school.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Maples helped win three Class 4A state titles at Maryville and had 56 catches for more than 1,200 yards and 19 touchdowns during his senior season. Maples played in just one game for the Vols last season, against Mississippi State, and didn't have a reception.
The Mocs already have some depth at wide receiver, but four of their top eight wideouts are seniors.
"It would be awesome," Coleman said of possibly being reunited with Maples. "He's got great hands; he's a good, versatile player ... and I think he'd fit in great with the receiving corps."
Scrappy proposal OK'd
The State Building Commission, in its monthly meeting in Nashville on Thursday, approved UTC's request to renovate Scrappy Moore Field. The project, which will be paid for out of the $500,000 donation to the program by Renee Haugerud and John Murphy, includes the installation of an artificial turf field.
Athletic director Rick Hart said UTC has been assigned a designer to oversee the proposed project, which still has to be put up for the state-mandated three-week bidding process. Ideally, the project will be completed before the Mocs begin preseason practice at the beginning of August, but Hart said everything will have to move quickly for that to happen.
"I still think best-case scenario is having this awarded by mid-June and then having six weeks to complete the project," he said. "At this point, I don't know if that's unrealistic."