SU is it for Grant Mayes

National signing day arrived three years to the day after the passing of Grant Mayes' father, George Mayes. So what was already an emotional day had an extra dose of emotion for Mayes, who wasn't sure he'd be able to keep his eyes from welling up.


National signing day arrived three years to the day after the passing of Grant Mayes' father, George Mayes. So what was already an emotional day had an extra dose of emotion for Mayes, who wasn't sure he'd be able to keep his eyes from welling up.

"I'm going to try to stay strong but this is the day I have been dreaming about my whole life," said Mayes, a cornerback from Seton Hall prep (N.J.), as he prepared for his signing day ceremony. "It's an emotional day, like the day you've always dreamed of … I'll be excited, then happy, then sad."

"He is why I do what I do. He was the biggest football fan I knew. He was a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Hopefully I can fulfill his dream and my dream and play in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers."

Mayes' mother was planning to take off work to celebrate with him. The outgoing, personable senior was looking forward to sharing the joyous occasion with her as well as two New Hampshire-bound teammates.

"She's been working two or three jobs my whole life," he said. "She's going to make the call to Coach Robinson and let him know that everything is in the clear and everything is going good."

Mayes, rated the No. 68 cornerback recruit in the nation, was recruited by several other schools. Cincinnati, Illinois and Michigan State offered early, while Rutgers and Tennessee tried to sway him from his SU commitment.

"I'm Syracuse all the way. I feel like I'm part of a great recruiting class and a program that's definitely building something special right now," he said. Mayes was one of the first SU commits and was one of the first to make it official early this morning.

Mayes wanted to graduate early and enroll at SU this spring, but his mother wasn't fond of the idea. Still, he has a great chance to see the field as a true freshman, it would seem. He's a physical player with good speed and a great work ethic. He's been working out lately with New Jersey star Will Hill and NFL-bound Orange standout Taj Smith.

"I think I'm really gonna come in and compete with those guys. I'm gonna be excited to get up there and begin working," he said. "It's great for us. We have that camaraderie already."

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