At 6-4, 270 pounds with speed and strength, he has become one of the top defensive end prospects in the South and has drawn the interest from some of the best programs in the country after a strong senior season. Mainord has narrowed his list down to a manageable number with a few programs in the lead at the moment.
"I have 21 offers, but I've narrowed it down to five," Mainord tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I have Auburn, Alabama, South Carolina, Colorado and Florida. I visited Colorado on Dec. 5. I have South Carolina on Jan. 9, Alabama on the 16th, Auburn on the 23rd and Florida on the 30th."
Unlike many kids in Tennessee Mainord says he didn't grow up a fan of the nearby Volunteers or any college for that matter. A fan of football in general, he says that three schools have risen to the top for his services.
"It would be between Alabama, Auburn and South Carolina right now," Mainord answers when asked if he has a favorite."
While he doesn't have a direct link to Auburn because of a former teammate or a love for the school, Mainord says he has several reasons to like the Tigers at this point. One of his main reasons is because of the availability of early playing time with three seniors at defensive end for the Tigers next season. That and family have Auburn squarely in the running for the playmaker at defensive end.
"I just feel like I can get some playing time there," Mainord says of Auburn. "I know a boy that has already committed there, Greg Smith, I know him pretty well. I also have some family in Opelika and Rob Selby went there. He's part of the family on my mom's side."
Despite facing double teams for much of the year, Mainord put up some very impressive statistics for his high school team as it advanced to the second round of the playoffs. In 12 games he had 120 tackles, 80 solos, with 14 tackles for losses, eight sacks, four caused fumbles and three fumble recoveries. A four-year starter, Mainord also saw some playing time on offense for Grundy County and played tight end, fullback, slot and also saw some time at running back, but his strength is definitely on the defensive side of the ball.
"I'm just quick off the ball on the outside," Mainord says. "Everybody knows I'm going to make the play. I always try to make every play. My speed is my biggest strength."
Without a true tie to any school, Mainord says his visits will mean everything to him when making his decision on or near signing day. He says several things will weigh into the choice and he's hoping to find just the right spot to spend the next part of his life.
"I'm just looking to see how it feels as a football school," he says. "I'm not going just for football though. The dorms are a big thing and how I fit in with the players. I want to major in either business management or sports management."