Mayes Enjoys Minnesota Visit

Jerry Kill and his staff have already played host to a number of top recruits this spring. One of the biggest names that was on campus recently was Van Alstyn (Texas) offensive tackle Alex Mayes. Mayes made the trip with his brother Connor and was blown away by what Minnesota had to offer.

The Gophers have had recent success courting big-name offensive linemen. This cycle looks to be no different by getting the two Mayes brothers on campus. Alex is a 6-foot-6, 275-pound 2013 offensive tackle prospect while Connor is already 6-foot-4, 340 pounds as a 2014 interior offensive line recruit. Alex already had an offer prior to the visit but Connor picked up an offer of his own while on campus during a visit with Jerry Kill.

"I'm really happy for Connor," Alex said. "All his hard work is paying off and me and him have talked about it and we like Minnesota so hopefully this is the place we go together."

One of the highlights of the visit for Alex was talking with the two brother duos on Minnesota's offensive line, Ed and Tommy Olson as well as Kyle and Luke McAvoy.

"We talked with the Olsons and the McAvoys and we got to eat lunch with the o-line and they were all talking about how we need to be the next brothers and that's been a dream for me and Connor to be able to play together in college and hopefully it goes that way."

There were a number of other aspects of the Gophers that impressed Mayes while on his unofficial visit.

"Minnesota was awesome, I mean my expectations were blown out of the water," he said. "As soon as we got off the plane they had a schedule for us so we went up there and talked with Coach (Billy) Glasscock and he showed us around the facilities there at the complex. Then we went to offensive line meetings with Coach (Matt) Limegrover. He's just a great man and he knows what he's talking about when it comes to offensive line.

"All the practice stuff was awesome—the whole team's looking great. We also checked out Minneapolis [on Sunday] and got to see the Mall of America and all that good stuff. It was just a great visit all over."

Mayes was able to visit during spring practice which allowed him to get a feel for the team and the coaches on the field.

"Just the work ethic that everybody has," Mayes said when asked what stood out about watching practice. "The coaches coach the players and the players take it well; they work hard. Everybody just works so hard at Minnesota and that's what I like."

While he got to watch the coaches work, he also got to spend quality time visiting with the staff.

"All the coaches are just so easy to talk to," he said. "Heck, we sat down and had a meeting with Coach Kill for almost two hours and just talked about stuff. He's such a great guy. He knows how to run a football team; of course he's turned programs around, like the program at [Northern] Illinois. I mean, they're just great guys. They know what they're talking about."

Another thing Mayes liked about Minnesota was being in the city of Minneapolis.

"Minneapolis is beautiful," he said. "I mean everybody is just so nice. The city is beautiful and there's always something to do—we were busy the whole time. The food was great and coming from an o-lineman's perspective the food is amazing up there."

Although a long way from Texas, distance would not be a factor to Mayes if he picked Minnesota.

"I've talked to my mom and she said she'll miss me but the flight's only about two hours and that's not bad at all," he said. "It's literally like 15 minutes from the airport and [my parents] said whenever I need to come home if something happens, I will always have a plane ticket home."

With interest from a number of top schools, Mayes' three favorite so far are Minnesota, Colorado and Kansas State. He has been on plenty of visits already but one school sticks out above the rest.

"Minnesota is the best by far," he said. "The facilities, the new stadium, the locker room is just ridiculous, the quality of the coaching staff—it doesn't get better than the U."

Mayes does not have a decision date in mind but after such an impressive visit to the Twin Cities he is considering becoming a Gopher.

"I've got to talk to my coach—I've already talked to my family about some stuff. I've got to talk to my head coach to see what his opinions are on it, I mean [Minnesota] is definitely a place I can see myself playing at and calling home. I've just got to talk to some people and do some soul searching and see if it's really the right place for me…I really like the U so far. I just have to get over the shock and awe of the University and get down to the things that I want and what's best for me and best for my family and go from there."

Alex Mayes Profile

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories