Former Missouri QB Maty Mauk Seeking NFL Shot

    While an early dismissal from Missouri removed Maty Mauk from the national spotlight in 2016, he’s been working anonymously ever since to restore his life and dream of playing in the NFL.

    April 4, 2017

    While an early dismissal from Missouri removed Maty Mauk from the national spotlight in 2016, he’s been working anonymously ever since to restore his life and dream of playing in the NFL.

    One-time Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk has baggage, the residue of some poor decisions during his time in Columbia. He also has the steely resolve to fulfill the lifelong dream of playing on Sundays. The NFL, the ultimate arbiter in these matters, will have the final say, beginning with a private Pro Day.

    Glendale High School in Springfield, Mo., site of Mauk’s Apr. 7 workout, is a far cry from Kenton High School in rural Ohio, where he smashed national passing records. And it’ll feel much further than 170 miles from Faurot Field, where Mauk debuted with a splash as a Tiger redshirt freshman in 2013. Glendale High in many ways is a metaphor for a career that’s been forced to scale back to the basics in an effort to recapture some old magic.

    Mauk was a local legend as a Wildcat, playing for his dad Mike and following in the footsteps of older brother Ben as the multidimensional leader of a high-powered prep offense. He was a High School All-American and Mr. Football in the state of Ohio, ultimately choosing Mizzou over the likes of Michigan, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt. Prolific and undersized, with a track record for winning, Mauk looked as if he might be the second coming of Chase Daniel in Columbia.

    But a spate of off-field issues kept Mauk from reaching his potential as the orchestrator of Gary Pinkel’s offense, culminating in his dismissal in late January of 2016.

    Mauk won plenty of games as the Missouri starter, going 17-5 and helping guide the Tigers to back-to-back SEC Championship Games. He did a solid job off the bench after senior James Franklin was injured in 2013, and he threw 25 touchdown passes in 2014, as Mizzou went 11-3. Sure, there were inconsistencies during that sophomore season, the Georgia and Florida games, for instance. Still, there were also flashes of brilliance and the toughness, athleticism and playmaking ability of a young quarterback whose best days were ahead of him.

    Unfortunately for Mauk and Missouri, 2014 would end up being his only full season as the Tiger starting quarterback. His junior year in 2015 was one both he and the program are still looking to fully get beyond. Mizzou went 5-7, its first of two straight losing campaigns. And Mauk played in just four games, giving way to true freshman Drew Lock after an initial four-game disciplinary suspension was upgraded to a complete shutdown for the remainder of the schedule.

    Almost three months after Pinkel sat Mauk for the season, new head coach Barry Odom made the suspension permanent. Days before being removed from the program, an old video of Mauk appearing to ingest a white powdery substance surfaced on social media, though Odom suggested it didn’t impact his decision.

    “The biggest issue for me was that I made the mistake of surrounding myself with the wrong people,” admits Mauk. “You’ve got to know who you’re hanging out with at all times and whether they’re true friends or just trying to drag you down with them. What really hurt me the most during that period at Missouri is that I always wanted to be the kind of player that fans and especially young kids could look up to.”

    No longer a Tiger, Mauk did go on to earn his Missouri degree in 2016 before transferring to Eastern Kentucky with visions of resuscitating his playing career. As a Colonel, though, he was limited to just a pair of games, the result of a season-ending injury to his non-throwing shoulder.

    His fall from grace now complete, a very different Mauk is attempting to emerge from the past few years to author the kind of turnaround that rewrites the narrative of his life as a quarterback. He’s humble, he’s healthy, having undergone successful shoulder surgery last Nov. 14, and he’s abundantly aware that his margin for error for playing professionally has all but evaporated.

    “I don’t think I’ve ever felt as good as I do today,” says a confident and relaxed Mauk. “I’ve added some good weight and I’m throwing the ball with more zip than ever now that I’ve gotten my shoulder cleaned out. Most important, though, I now only surround myself with people who have the best intentions for me, like my family, my brother and my fiancé. And getting God back in my life made all the difference in the world. He helped me get through the darkest, toughest periods of my life.”

    Mauk has filed the past in the past. He’s proud to have been a Tiger for four years and earned his degree from Missouri, but it’s time to focus on tomorrow. Mauk, who’s getting married June 10, has learned valuable life lessons since leaving Kenton High, lessons he hopes to employ as a member of an NFL franchise beginning this summer. He’s been preparing for the past month with help from trainer Brian Martin and former professional quarterback Jay Fiedler. Mauk has never been more ready, both physically and mentally, than he is right now. His job in the coming days and weeks will be to pique the interest of scouts and GMs.

    Mauk made mistakes at Missouri. He paid dearly. He’s owned up to the transgressions. Now, he’s hoping for a shot to not only make plays in the NFL but to also restore his reputation as a quarterback and a young man. Mauk has engineered plenty of comebacks in his life. This latest one is his toughest to date, with the potential reward of continuing to play the game he loves.

    “Despite everything that’s happened, I feel truly blessed to be where I am today,” offers Mauk. “And I want to share my testimony through the game of football. Ever since my freshman year of high school, we won league titles. When the game is on the line, I want the ball in my hands and I’ll do whatever is necessary to win. Coach Pinkel would say I had the “it” factor. I think I have natural leadership skills, too, an ability to get the best from my teammates.”

    Mauk has made some much-needed personal changes to redirect the course of his life. Fingers are crossed in his camp that the right people will notice.

    MORE: Trace McSorley Looking To Build On Breakout Season


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