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Mayton commits to Western Carolina


North Davidson’s Andrew Mayton paid an official visit to Wingate two weekends ago but then the 2012 county defensive player of the year went to Western Carolina this past weekend and liked it in Cullowhee even better.

And the choice he agonized over ended up being relatively easy. The 6-3, 235-pound Mayton gave a verbal commitment to Western Carolina on Sunday.

“I really, really, really liked it at Wingate,” Mayton said. “I’m not going to lie. But I went to Western and there’s a big difference in resources between Division I and Division II. I also have more courses to choose from. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity I had at Western.”

Part of that opportunity is the chance to play without having to spend his freshman year as a redshirt. Mayton will be used as a defensive end and possibly as a roving linebacker.

“They said I would get to play, not start, but I would get to play,” Mayton said.

That was echoed by North coach Mark Holcomb.

“It’s a good opportunity for him,” Holcomb said. “I think he’s going to get the chance to play right away.”

Western Carolina, a member of the Southern Conference in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly 1-AA) struggled to a 1-10 record in 2012. The Catamounts opened the season with a 42-14 win over Mars Hill but then lost 10 in a row.

The recent lack of success at Western Carolina was not a deterrent to Mayton but rather an opportunity under new head coach Mark Speir.

“When I report to training camp, 70 percent of the team is going to be in their third year or less,” Mayton said. “I really like what they’re doing down there. I’m going to get an opportunity to play some good competition. My freshman year I get to go to Auburn, Middle Tennessee State and Virginia Tech. My sophomore year I get to go to Alabama and I get to go to N.C. State my junior year.”

It sure was a special senior year for Mayton at North as the Black Knights went 14-1 and came within a game of playing for the 4-A state championship.

Mayton led the state with 23 1/2 sacks, recorded 103 tackles and forced three fumbles. Besides being the 2012 Dispatch All-County Player of the Year, Mayton racked up a slew of honors, including Central Piedmont Conference defensive player of the year and NCPreps All-State.

“Any time you get named defensive player of the year in our conference, that’s a big thing,” Holcomb said. “And then he got the county player defensive player of the year, too. That’s a big accomplishment, I think, for him.”

Mayton is expected to put on weight during his career at Western, which should present him with even more possibilities.

“The new defensive coordinator said I should be up to 265 -270 as a junior and senior,” Mayton said. “He said I would be able to play in the interior.”

Mayton, a pitcher, still has his senior season to go at North in baseball and is expected to be the staff ace.



Mike Duprez can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 218 or mike.duprez@the-dispatch.com.