Date Committed: February 5, 2012
Ranked: Three-star, JUCO DT (Mississippi Gulf Coast)
Position status: Georgia opens spring practice this weekend with a remodeled look on the defensive line. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has to fill the gap that NFL bound John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers left. That's a pretty big void – one that combined to weigh over 700 pounds. And there's not a great deal of depth left at the position either. Among those listed on the current roster are Mayes, John Atkins, DeAndre Johnson, Jonathan Taylor and Mike Thornton. Davin Bellamy is also listed as a defensive lineman, but his 6-foot-5, 235-pound physique means he will likely play outside linebacker – at least that's what Georgia coaches have told him.
The evaluation: Though he missed out on an early opportunity at Georgia, Mayes made great strides in his two years at Mississippi Gulf Coast. He's grown in both height and strength, and played against some competition that wound up at the Division I level. He also has quick feet and good backfield awareness, which should draw a lot of double-teams. One area Mayes can improve upon is his block shedding, but he should be able to fine-tune that after a full spring with the Georgia coaches.
Estimated impact: Mayes originally signed with the Bulldogs out of high school and was a member of the 2011 "Dream Team" class, but he didn't fulfill Georgia's academic requirements. The 6-foot-3, 335-pound defensive tackle hopes to make up for lost time in a similar fashion to another nose guard who came from Mississippi Gulf Coast – John Jenkins. Contrast to Jenkins, though, Mayes redshirted last year, which gives him three years of eligibility remaining. Mayes played in a comparable 3-4 defense at MGC, but coach Mark Richt won't confirm if he will use Mayes to fill Jenkins' void at nose tackle come fall, citing that he has the athleticism to play anywhere on the line. But when it's all said and done, Mayes should see significant playing time this fall somewhere on the line.