Better late than never.

After months of wishing and hoping for the right scholarship offer, Plaquemine running back Julius Maracalin has finally found his match in Southeastern Louisiana.

“I feel like the weight of the world is off my shoulders,” Plaquemine coach Paul Distefano said.

“Southeastern has been talking to us and to Julius for a few weeks now. I’m just glad something worked out. I think the plan is for him to sign next Tuesday.”

The 5-foot-11, 210-pound Maracalin was among the state’s top rushers and was The Advocate’s All-Metro Offensive MVP for Class 5A-4A after rushing for 2,184 yards on 315 carries with 29 touchdowns last fall. He also netted first-team all-state honors in Class 4A after leading the Green Devils to their first district title in a decade and their first quarterfinal berth since 1987.

“It’s relief and excitement,” Maracalin said. “Mostly relief. I’m happy to get the opportunity. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get a scholarship, so this means a lot.”

Despite his rushing numbers and accomplishments, Maracalin got just a few scholarship offers and did not sign during the traditional NCAA signing period in February. At one point, he was scheduled to walk on at LSU.

Distefano said SLU contacted PHS about Maracalin late in the spring. He said he feels like the Lions will be a perfect fit for Maracalin, who ran for over 1,000 yards as a sophomore but missed several games as a junior with injuries, including a concussion and a knee injury, finishing with 760 yards.

Defending Southland Conference champion SLU was 11-3 record last fall, advancing to the NCAA Football Championship Series playoffs.

“I really think he’s going into a good situation, especially with the success Southeastern has had,” Distefano said. “Coach (Ron) Roberts has a good thing going. And I know they’re getting a heck of a football player.”

When asked what he could offer SLU, Maracalin cited his work ethic and added, “I’ll do whatever it takes to get 2 or 3 yards.”

Basketball

ROSS TO SIGN: University High girls basketball player Terriel Ross is scheduled to sign with Baton Rouge Community College at 3 p.m. Friday in the BRCC gym.

Ross averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game while helping the Cubs win the Class 3A state title.