Mayes Turning Dreams Into Reality

Van Alstyne, Texas center Connor Mayes received an invite to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Monday night.

Van Alstyne, Texas center Connor Mayes had several dreams when he started playing football. He wanted to play football at the collegiate level and be regarded as one of the top players in the country at his position by his senior year. With 17 offers on the table, Mayes will undoubtedly play in college, and, he's rated as the nation's No. 1 center prospect by FOXSportsNEXT so he's definitely considered one of the top players.

However, he still had one dream that he hadn't achieved just yet. That changed on Monday night.

Mayes received an official invite to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on January 4, 2014 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. For Mayes, it's something he's thought long and hard about basically since the seventh grade.

"I am excited as can be! I've wanted to play in this game since I was little," Mayes said.

Needless to say, the news was a big surprise to Mayes, who could barely muster a conversation with the game's representative when informed he was selected to play in the prestigious game.

"That's exactly what I was," Mayes exclaimed when asked if he as speechless when he found out the news. "I was so happy I could hardly say a word."

The four-star center and nation's No. 258 overall player has 17 offers on the table and more are likely to come his way during the spring evaluation. A pair of Big 12 coaches visited Van Alstyne as recently as Friday morning.

"Coach Clements from Baylor came by on Friday and Texas came by Friday morning," he said. "I think OU is coming down soon and I think West Virginia is going to try to come see me too. That's about it from what I've heard. I think Coach Sharp (TCU) mentioned something about coming up but I'm not sure when."

Mayes visited Texas for the Longhorns first junior day and has continued to receive steady interest from offensive line coach Stacy Searels. A return visit to Austin this summer may be in the works.

"They're still recruiting me and they want me to come out to camp this summer so I'm going to try to go out and do that," Mayes said. "I want to see where they stand. (Coach Searels) hasn't really mentioned an offer yet."

Mayes has visited TCU and Minnesota in recent weeks, attending the Frogs' last practice of the spring and the Gophers spring game. As for TCU, the relationship he's built with the staff over the years only appears to be getting stronger.

"I love it, I love TCU," Mayes said. "I think they have a great coaching staff and I grew up around the program so I've fallen in love with it over the years."

TCU head coach Gary Patterson mentioned on a few occasions during the spring of the Frogs' need to get stronger along the interior of the offensive line. That has also been expressed to Mayes by the TCU staff.

"They said they're going to need a guy that can snap and they said right now they've only got a few guys that can snap," Mayes said. "They're looking for a center."

While Mayes likes the idea of early playing time, he's not worried if he has to redshirt because he sees the benefits of getting better.

"It'd be cool to get early playing time but it wouldn't be a problem for me to redshirt because I'd just get another year of being around those guys and getting stronger," he said.

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