"Big-time Football," Big-time Player

"Big-time football" is a term often heard in recruiting circles. Almost all high school football prospects want to play "big-time football," but only a few get the chance. For Seattle, Wash. native Taylor Mays, it will become a reality very soon, and one he's excited about.

Two-way star Taylor Mays is widely considered the top prospect in the state of Washington. The 6-3, 190-pound athlete can "do it all," and plenty of college coaches are hoping he'll "do it all" on their field very soon.

"Initially it was very exciting," said Mays of all the attention he's receiving. "Now it's getting more serious. I'm trying to focus on the schools so I can make a decision. It's a very humbling experience, but I'm enjoy it."

From the storied O'Dea program in Seattle, Mays did it all on the field for his team last season.

"I had 90 tackles and five interceptions," Mays said when asked about his stats from last season. "I also had three punt returns for touchdowns. On offense I had 25 catches, 512 yards and seven touchdowns."

And then the offers came rolling in.

"I think I have 13 now," Mays said. "Washington, Washington State, Cal, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Arizona, Nebraska, Michigan, Notre Dame, LSU, Duke…I can't remember the last one."

We asked Mays where most schools see him fitting in on the field.

"Some are saying offense, some are saying defense, I'd like to play both," he said. "I think most are saying they'll leave it up to me."

But it's the lure of "big-time football" that will likely get Mays' signature.

"Tradition is what I like. You know, like the Notre Dame's and the Nebraska's," Mays said. "A football school where the fans go crazy. They have those die-hard fans. Their fans travel and it's always the biggest thing on campus.

"I'm a college football fan and I want to play in the big games. I want to be a part of the big games."

But football isn't the only thing Mays will consider. Mays is also an outstanding student and says his education is also important.

"Academics will be very important," Mays said when asked what he's looking for in a school. "I want a school that can prepare me with a degree as well as the NFL. That will play a big factor in my decision."

Mays has already been to both schools in Southern California, and he plans to make some more unofficial visits in the near future.

"I plan to go check out South Bend and Ann Arbor soon," he said. "I'll also go see Stanford and Cal. I'll have to check my track schedule and see when I can go see them."

Yes, Mays also excels in track.

"I run the 100, 200 and 4x100," Mays said. "My best time was 10.54 last year."

Speaking of South Bend, we asked Mays his thoughts on Notre Dame and their new coaching staff.

"Before Tyrone (Willingham) left Notre Dame was likely my top school," Mays said. "But Notre Dame is Notre Dame. It's still the most prestigious school in the country in my opinion. I'm just going to have to meet with coach Weis and their new staff and then make a decision.

"I don't know coach Weis, but he's obviously a great coach or he wouldn't have those Super Bowl rings."

Mays also says he'll likely make an early decision, sometime before his senior season.

"Making an early decision would be the most convenient thing for me," he said. "I want to make a decision before my season.

"If I don't feel comfortable with it, I'll just wait until after my season and I take some visits. I hope I can make it before my season though."

So who are the top schools right now for Mays?

"It's hard to say because schools keep jumping in and out of it," he said. "(Washington), USC, Cal, Stanford, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Michigan, Miami….I'd say those are my top schools right now."

Comments: Mays definitely has the personality that would fit in well at Notre Dame. He's very humble for all the attention he's received. He did mention both his dad and his uncle played at Washington, and that he went to a recent Washington junior day as well. He seems wide open at this point, but the Irish will have to get him on campus soon to have a chance.

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories