Chris Mayes, a name to remember

Chris Mayes, from Spalding High School in Griffin, Ga., has the physical ability to project as an elite defensive tackle in the 2011 class. The 6-5 and 292 pound Mayes, has long arms, moves like a defensive end, and has shown flashes of greatness in just his first year of organized football. was in attendance to see Spalding High School, and the athletic Mayes, go against one of the most talented teams in the state of Georgia. Opposing teams are already taking notice of his elite talent.

"I had a pretty good game against Griffin (High School)," Chris Mayes stated. "I had three tackles, one tackle for a loss, and a deflected pass. I had a pancake block in that game, too. I pancaked Xzavier Dickson. It was my best block so far this year."

"This is my first year of playing, but I'm double-teamed on every play. I'll expect that all year. If teams don't double me I can probably get into the backfield on every play. I think I'd get a sack or tackle on every play if I wasn't doubled."

Mayes has grown up playing basketball and will likely play throughout his high school career. Like many converted basketball players, Mayes realizes that football can be his "ticket" to the next level.

"I actually like football more than basketball now," he commented. "I like the contact and all of it. The physical part is my favorite. I definitely think football is my ticket."

The Spalding coaching staff will move Mayes around as he gains experience.

"Today my coaches moved me to (defensive) end some in practice," he said. "They haven't told me if they'll move me around in a game, yet. They just worked with me some at defensive end. They wanna free me up so that I can stay away from double teams."

Mayes claims that he can, and will, run well below the 5-second barrier for 40 yards.

"In my ninth grade year I weighed about 270 (pounds)," he said. "We ran forties (40-yard dashes) for basketball. I ran a 4.85 then. I know I can still run a 4.8. By next spring I'll definitely be running a 4.8."

Mayes is new to the game so numbers aren't really a big deal to him. He just wants to concentrate on the simple things.

"I wanna keep my academics up," he said. "I wanna get stronger in the weight room. I just wanna get better at everything."

"I really don't know what numbers to look for. This is my first year playing. I just wanna be the best I can be."

Mayes likes four in the SEC. He provides a brief statement about his top three schools.

"I really like Tennessee, Auburn, and LSU," he said. "I like all of those schools about the same. Oh yeah, I like Georgia, too."

Tennessee: "I just like the school and the environment."

Auburn: "I just like Auburn, period."

LSU: "The athletic program there is great."

The location of a school is not a big deal to Mayes, but he is partial to the most renowned conference in college football.

"The location of a school doesn't matter to me," he commented. "I'll play anywhere. You only get one chance. I like different places. I like seeing new things."

"My favorite conference is the SEC. It's all about defense in the SEC. It's the toughest conference. Schools are more enthused about what they do on the field in the SEC. I'll more than likely play at an SEC school when it's all said and done."

Mayes knows that he needs to work on his technique before taking the next step.

"I need to work on my hand technique," he said. "You can't just overpower everyone. I wanna have all the tools. I have the strength and the speed. I just have to get the technique down."

Griffin is a small town, but it is not a town lacking in athletic talent. The small city about 40 miles south of Atlanta has produced more than 30 NFL players. Mayes has set a goal to become an elite player in his own right.

"I wanna be on top," he said. "I wanna be the top defensive lineman in the country next year. It's as simple as that. I wanna be the best I can be."

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