"His junior season he played solely at running back until later in the season when he saw some time at linebacker, too."
Junior Season Highlights:|
"It was hard [changing positions], but I got through it," Mayfield said. "Switching from linebacker to running back really wasn't that hard, but being such an important part of the offense was. I think I did ok, but I know I can improve."
On the season, Mayfield rushed for 1,476 yards and 18 touchdowns on 244 carries.
"He has a tremendous amount of athletic ability and very good size for his position," Illing said. "He's a very stocky, very powerful runner. He has great vision; has the ability to see blocks before they happen. He has the power to run through tackles. He has the speed to get to the edge. He has great hands to catch the ball out of the backfield. So you can utilize him in a lot of different ways."
Illing plans to start Mayfield both ways – tailback and linebacker – this coming season as the War Eagles attempt to live up to the high expectations their young team set last season.
"I think we could win the state championship – we should win the state championship," Mayfield said. "We have our offensive line coming back. Our defense should be pretty good. We have Perry [James] coming back."
The success of Mayfield's junior season has attracted the attention of several ACC and regional schools, but he's still awaiting his first offer.
"James didn't have the luxury as a sophomore going to the combines and getting seen early," Illing said. "We're just now getting his junior film out and into the coaches' hands so they're still in the evaluation process now."
To help improve his recruiting stock, Mayfield plans to participate in several combines and camps. He's strongly considering camping at North Carolina and Wake Forest over the summer.
Mayfield also has recently spoken to coaches from NC State and Virginia.
"They talked about my grades and having a good season next year," Mayfield said. "They didn't really talk about offering."
This spring, Mayfield has attended Wake Forest's Junior Day and he has also unofficially visited Virginia. Therefore, it's unsurprising that he's slightly favoring both schools.
"I wouldn't mind going to Wake [Forest] and I wouldn't mind going to Virginia," Mayfield said. "I like the football atmosphere and the campus, and they just made me feel like I was at home."
Make sure you don't miss any of the exclusive feature stories on Inside Carolina's 2009 Intro Tour