After finding out that he has a torn ACL, it has been a tough week for Iowa commit Maurice Fleming Jr., but he is keeping a positive mindset. On Saturday, Fleming made the drive from Chicago to Iowa City with a couple of other highly sought after prospects to watch the Hawkeyes' game against Pittsburgh. He talks about the experience, which was his first game at Kinnick Stadium, dealing with his injury, and much more.
Q: What did you think of the game yesterday?
FLEMING: It was great. It was a great comeback. The atmosphere was great. I had a lot of fun with the other recruits that were there. I talked to some of the players and the coaches and it was great just being part of the family.
Q: Is that the first game you have been to out there?
FLEMING: Yeah, it was my first game ever there.
Q: Who did you make the trip with?
FLEMING: I went with Dave Smith and Cliff Alexander. Dave is a running back that hasn't decided where he's going yet and Cliff is one of the top players in the nation for basketball and goes to my school. He's a sophomore right now.
Q: Is Cliff looking at Iowa for basketball?
FLEMING: Yeah, he wanted to come check it out and Iowa offered him yesterday.
Q: Where does Smith stand with everything right now?
FLEMING: He's going to wait and take all of his officials I think.
Q: Going back to your injury, what has this whole week been like for you?
FLEMING: For like the first 24 hours, my mother let me have a pity party, but after the 24 hours was over, I was okay. I've got a lot of people supporting me, telling me to keep up with my grades, stay focused, and have a positive mindset. With my team, I'm going to try to be another coach on the field now.
Q: What were the conversations like with the Iowa coaches this weekend?
FLEMING: They just said they're still 100% with me. They're not going to look at me any different because with ACL injuries, a lot of people nowadays come back even stronger and faster. I'm just looking forward to the future.
Q: Was that comforting to hear?
FLEMING: It was, but I didn't have any doubts really. Once I committed, they told me I was part of the family and once you're family, you're always family. I respect them a lot for that.
Q: Is the plan still to bring you in a corner and maybe work on some returns too?
FLEMING: They're going to use me wherever they need me, so it could be corner, wide receiver, punt return, and kickoff return, just using my speed as a weapon.
Q: With your injury, are you going to miss basketball season too?
FLEMING: I'm not really worried about basketball. I'll probably be back around February, so if I want to play basketball, I can. I'm looking more at running track to keep my speed up and get ready for next year.
Q: Are you going out there for a few more games this season?
FLEMING: Of course. I'm going to try to make it to every home game, especially the big ones. I talk to a lot of other Iowa recruits and we want to get to some of the same games and make our official visits together, so we can start to become more of a family.