One-on-One: David Maaghul ‘15 - Salisbury School (CT) Football
Salisbury School (CT) quarterback David Maaghul ’15 is no stranger to the Massachusetts High School football landscape. During the 2011 and 2012 seasons, at Cambridge Rindge and Latin HIgh School, Maaghul quarterbacked the Falcons offense.
Last season Maaghul broke the school record for passing touchdowns (31) in a season and passed for an impressive 3,053 yards. After a big junior year at Cambridge, Maaghul transferred to the Salisbury School this year, and reclassified to the Class of 2015.
"It is always difficult to transfer into a prep school program as a quarterback because there are many adjustments: a new system, new opponents, new coaches, new teammates and a new level of academic expectations," Salisbury head football coach Chris Phelps told Mass Prep Stars. "To be successful you have to be resilient and David has proven that he is. He continues to get better every week and we are excited to see him progress throughout his time here."
Maaghul had his best game to date on Saturday as he helped lead Salisbury (5-2) to a 41-35 win over Trinity Pawling. The junior completed 17-of-22 passes for 360 yards and four touchdowns.
We caught up with Maaghul as he prepared for his final game of the regular season, this Saturday night, against Avon Old Farms (CT). Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Salisbury School.
Can you talk a little about your transition from Cambridge Rindge and Latin (MA) to Salisbury School, both athletically and academically?
DM: The transition has been a good one overall. It has definitely been a lot of work. Academically, the work load is much larger here at Salisbury, but on the other hand it is a boarding school with a scheduled study hall every day so I have been able to keep more organized than ever and overall my grades are much better than they were last year.
Athletically, the playing level has definitely increased. At Cambridge, there would only be a 3 or 4 teams on the schedule that would really be a test. Here at Salisbury, every week is a challenge. There are no easy games. Practices are also very different. It took me a while to acclimate myself to the intensity and high tempo pace of the practices, however, it has made me a much better player. A lot of the credit can go to Coach Phelps as well. He has really turned me around and made me more consistent and confident by just teaching me to know and trust my reads.
How has the season gone so far and can you talk a little about your teammates, goals and expectations for the remainder of the season?
DM: The season has been a great experience. We got off to a great start but we faced two tough losses in a row to both Kent and Brunswick. They were games that just slipped out of our hands. My teammates are great. Every one of them gives 100%, every practice and game. The protection from the offensive line, with the help of our fullback Matt Dugan, has also been great. They have also opened up some big holes for our running back Denzel Knight, who has been phenomenal as has our receiving core, led by Tommy D'Antonio, Richard Lopez, Kyler Murray, Ryan Phelps, and Tight End Matt Forelli have also been Our goals, of course are to win, but also to play consistently and play without hurting ourselves. When we don't make silly mental errors or commit penalties we are unstoppable.
Talk a little about the off-season and summer leading up to the 2013 season? Camps, clinics, training etc.?
This past offseason I went to the Boston College and UConn camps as well as the NFTC and Elite 11 in Washington, DC. I put on about fifteen pounds and added weight to all my core lifts. I also worked a lot on my agility and flexibility. Over the summer I did Bikram Yoga, which helped a lot. I would usually throw five times a week, and got a lot of help from QB Coach Todd Krueger, who helped me a lot with my foot work and release.
How has the early college recruiting process been going for you?
DM: Rutgers called my coach earlier this season and they want me to come down for a game. I have also received a lot of letters from Cincinnati, Penn State, Minnesota, UNC, Yale, and Harvard. I think that I will have a better sense of recruiting after the season when my coach and I will have more time to focus on it.
You come from California. Can you talk a little about your upbringing in the game and the differences you have seen from coast-to-coast?
DM: I have to give my Dad credit for my upbringing of the game. Since I was 6-years old, my dad was a season ticket holder for Cal Football. I never missed a game, getting to see and meet great talent like Marshawn Lynch, DeSean Jackson, Aaron Rodgers, Shane Vereen, and many more. I grew up with Cal Football and have always dreamed of playing there.
Football is a year round sport in California, with team lifts throughout the winter, spring football, and summer training. On the east coast my experience has been that we only work and practice with the team during football season. The game may not be as big of deal as it is in California but I would never take moving to Massachusetts for granted. I believe everything happens for a reason. I have met a lot of great coaches and players that have helped me succeed and who I will probably have relationships with for the rest of my life.
When Friday or Saturday comes, no matter what side of the country you are on, you put on the same cleats, play on the same fields, and throw the same football. It is all about how you prepare yourself for when that time comes.
Who do you like to model your game after and how would you describe yourself as a quarterback?
DM: Some think of themselves as a pocket passer, or a dual threat quarterback. I simply consider myself a competitor. I can do and will do whatever it takes to win. I will run, pass, or handoff, you name it.
If there is any quarterback I like to compare myself to it is Aaron Rodgers. Not only do I try and emulate is physical attributes but his mind-set too. Rodgers was a quarterback who was overlooked because of his height and his abilities. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and is confident that he is the best at what he does. I feel like my mindset is certainly similar.
If you could give one piece of advice to a student-athlete, potentially looking at the private/prep school route, what would it be?
DM: I am not going to say the transition is hard, or easy. It is a lot of work, and if you put in the effort during the transition, things will work out. There are going to be times where things just will not go your way but mentally you need to trust that you made the right decision. Overall, I think the prep school route can be great but it really depends on your situation. It can also be a great opportunity to improve yourself as an all around person.
Lastly, can you tell us one thing about you that people may not know?
DM: On Football: My first year playing quarterback was my freshman year. I played Defensive End in Pop-Warner.
Personally: I love Economics and plan to study it in college and possibly pursue it as a profession after that.
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