If Chris Mayes had been playing football as a freshman and sophomore and traveling around to compete in combines and camps all the while, he might have earned elite-prospect status and four or five stars like his cross-town buddies Xzavier Dickson and Corey Moore.
As it is, Mayes did not start playing football until last season. But it turns out that was enough time get noticed. The 6-foot-5, 295-pound athlete entered his senior season with around a dozen offers. And this weekend, he finally accepted one.
Mays committed to the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday night. Word eked out Sunday afternoon.
“I was at home Saturday night and I just sat down and talked with my Mom about the opportunities I had and we just decided Georgia was the best place for me,” said Mayes, who said Miami and Oklahoma State were next on his list. “It’s the in-state school; it’s not far from home so it will be easy for my family to come see me play; and it’s the school I grew up pulling for. Plus they have a great coaching staff.”
Mayes said he was recruited by both defensive line coach Rodney Garner and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.
“I’m excited about the chance to play for them,” he said.
Mayes becomes commitment No. 16 for the Bulldogs’ Class of 2011 and the second from the city of Griffin. Moore, a safety from rival Griffin High, committed to UGA back in late January.
Mayes and Moore are trying to get Dickson, an AJC Super 11 defensive end for the Bears, to join them in Athens. Dickson has long favored Alabama over the Bulldogs but remains uncommitted.
“We’re working on him,” Mayes said. “But Xzavier’s a lot of work.”
Mayes is friends with most of those players over at the well known football powerhouse that is Griffin. Well, he is for 51 weeks of the year at least.
This happens to be the one week they’re enemies. Spalding and Griffin play their annual rivalry game this Friday. It’s a contest Griffin has dominated.
“There is a whole different attitude this year,” Mayes said. “We’ve had a losing demeanor over the years. But this year is going to be different. We’re a lot better than we’ve been and we want it.”
As for his three-star rating from Rivals and Scout, Mayes just shrugs it off.
“I just think it’s because I don’t have much experience,” he said. “Last year was my first year playing football. I’ve always been a basketball player. But I think my size and athleticism is pretty good for football.”
Georgia, for one, agrees.
GEORGIA 2011 COMMITMENTS
* Theus will not enroll until January of 2012.