Given his size (6-feet-3, 200 pounds) and speed (4.6-second laser timed 40-yard dash), junior receiver Robert Mayo was already one of the more intriguing offensive weapons in Virginia. But after the Freedom (Chantilly, Va.) product balled out this fall, racking up over 1,000 receiving yards and scoring 15 touchdowns, he raised his stock even further.
Smaller Division I schools such as UNC Charlotte and Old Dominion immediately took notice and offered well before Mayo’s season ended. And on Jan. 4, the University of Maryland came through with the Chantilly native’s initial FBS look.
“This was huge – just huge,” Mayo said. “This was my first major offer. Maryland was talking to me before, but they’ve been busy lately and I hadn’t heard from them as much. But then [Jan. 4], I was in class doing my schoolwork and I got a text that I got the offer. I was in shock, for real.”
Mayo said his main point of contact was new UMD-area recruiter Walt Bell. The wideout mentioned that he’d been in touch with Bell for almost a month and knew the Terps’ offensive coordinator was intrigued by his size and athleticism.
“I called Coach Bell up [Jan. 4], and he didn’t say a whole lot. He mainly just wanted me to know I had the offer. But I’ve been talking to him for a bit before [Jan. 4], and I think he’s a good guy and a good coach,” Mayo said. “I feel like he can get me to where I need to be as a receiver.”
Mayo was last in College Park, Md., for the Terps’ game against Rutgers. He said Bell’s offense, first and foremost, grabbed his attention, while the recruit had a great time touring the school and interacting with the coaches as well.
“They kind of do a spread like us, and they get the ball to their receivers. Obviously that’s attractive to a guy like me. That’s one major thing I liked,” Mayo said. “And then I really liked the atmosphere there and the facilities.”
In particular, Mayo lauded the renovated weight room and the school’s coming $150 million indoor fields.
“I went around the campus, and I really liked how they redid the weight room. They’ve put a lot of money into the strength program, and that’s huge and is really going to help the program. That’s attractive to recruits like me,” Mayo said. “Then I kind of took a tour of the place and I think it was really nice. I liked how it was set up and how big it was. I saw the new facilities they’re building, and those look like they’re going to be great. It’s exciting what they’re building there.”
Mayo plans to return to College Park at some point this winter. He also wants to check out ODU, which is the only other campus he’s trekked through previously, UNC Charlotte; Va Tech; Florida; FSU; and Miami.
“I’m getting interest from Va Tech, and I should be hearing back from them soon about an offer,” Mayo said. “That would be a good one to get. And growing up I was a Florida State fan. I’d love to get down there for a visit, and I want to see some other Florida schools too.”
It’s early in Mayo’s recruitment, however, and he said he’s going to take his time with the process. He wants to see what offers materialize this offseason, embark on multiple visits and then evaluate each locale.
Mayo noted that offensive system, playing time opportunities, and comfort level on campus and with the coaching staff will be major factors he’ll be looking into. He’s not as concerned with a school’s proximity to his home, but said it would be nice for his family to see his games on a regular basis.