CFL Colts put Maggio back home

March 29, 1994|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Staff Writer

After four years of seeking the right opportunity, Kirk Maggio's pro football odyssey has brought him back home.

The former Calvert Hall star and UCLA All-American punter signed a two-year contract with the Baltimore CFL Colts on Saturday.

"I'd be very happy to be playing in Baltimore," Maggio, 26, said yesterday from Reno, Nev., where he is attending a kickers' camp. "Before the CFL came about, my dream was to play in the NFL. Now it's entirely a different situation."

Maggio, a Baltimore native who lives in Southfield, more than fits the job description for Canadian Football League punters. He kicks off, holds for place-kicks, and, as a former Calvert Hall quarterback, is a capable passer. He threw a 65-yard touchdown pTC pass for the Birmingham Fire in the World League in 1991.

"He's definitely a great athlete," said Jim Popp, director of player personnel for the Colts. "He's a versatile guy. He doesn't have an overpowering leg, but he has nice hang time -- over four seconds every time."

Maggio attended the Colts' tryout camp 10 days ago, but did not impress the club. He asked owner Jim Speros for a second look and made the most of it Saturday when he worked out at Memorial Stadium. He is the only signee from the camp so far.

Maggio was second in the nation at UCLA in 1989 with a 45.3-yard average. He was drafted in the 12th round by the Green Bay Packers in 1990, but lost out to the incumbent. He's also been in camps with the New Orleans Saints and the Sacramento Gold Miners in the CFL.

Maggio appreciates the increased role of a punter in the CFL. "A punter can score points [on the 1-point rouge], and he's more of a defensive weapon," he said. "Sometimes they position the punter in the end zone to kick the ball out [and prevent a rouge]."

Maggio said he figures Baltimore affords him the best opportunity.

"It's my understanding the best punter will win the job [with the Colts]," he said. "On a daily basis, I'm very confident I can beat out anybody. I'm thankful to them for the opportunity."

The Colts also announced the signing of four other players:

* Running back Anthony Barbour, a two-year starter at North Carolina State. At 5 feet 8 and 178 pounds, he was All-Atlantic Coast Conference as a senior in 1992.

* Fullback Chuck Weatherspoon, the all-time leading rusher at Houston. Weatherspoon, 5-8 and 220, played in the Cougars' run-and-shoot offense with Andre Ware and went to camp with the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.

* Linebacker William "Bam-Bam" King, who was defensive player of the year for Division I-AA Marshall in the Southern Conference last season. Undersized at 5-9 and 210, he is eligible for the NFL draft this spring.

* Slotback Andrew Hill, a two-time All-America at Division I-AA Indiana University of Pennsylvania. IUP's all-time leading receiver caught 21 touchdown passes in 1991.

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