Maponga Keeps Eye on the Ball

Maponga Keeps Eye on the Ball

Jay Adams

Published May 20, 2013 at 4:23 PM

The Falcons addressed the defensive end position in a couple of ways this offseason. They made the move to sign veteran free agent Osi Umenyiora to provide a boost to the pass rush and they used a fourth-round selection to take Clemson’s Malliciah Goodman, whose potential is as big as he is at 6-foot-4, 276 pounds.

Perhaps the wildcard, however, is Texas Christian defensive end Stansly Maponga, who pretty much spends the majority of his time on the field wherever the football is.

Born in Zimbabwe and a resident there until he moved to the United States at the age of nine, Maponga grew up playing rugby, a sport that puts as much emphasis on physicality and take-down ability as it does on endurance and stamina — and Maponga appears to have many of the aforementioned qualities.

Along with the obligatory defensive end stats, like sacks and tackles, Maponga is a standout in forced fumbles, perhaps a credit to his ability to fly to wherever the ball is at any moment learned on the rugby field. In fact, he racked up five forced fumbles in 2011 and was one of four players in the nation to rank in the top 10 in that stat and the top 20 in sacks (nine).

Maponga completed his three years at TCU with eight forced fumbles.

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