2006: Taylor Mays

He's one of the truly elite prospects in the west coast for the class of 2006, and 6-3, 215-pound <b>Taylor Mays</b> from Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea has 14 scholarship offers to date. He recently took a swing of unofficial visits through California and has a somewhat narrowed-down list...

One of the elite defensive backs in the class of 2006 comes from prep power Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea. And while he has bloodlines that are part of the Washington Huskies lineage, he will have his pick of schools from across the country come next February.

Safety Taylor Mays (6-3, 215) already has 14 scholarship offers to date, with a solid eight standing out.

"The schools I'm legitimately interested in are Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, California, Washington, UCLA, USC and Stanford," said Mays. "I'm hearing from some other schools, but those are my top ones right now."

The son of former Husky player Stafford Mays, Taylor said the pressure to stay and play for the rebuilding Husky program is there, but not overwhelming.

"Some of my family friends are telling me I need to go there, but my dad is putting no pressure on me to go there," said Mays. "He played in the Don James era there. I was at Husky Junior Day and spent some time with Coach (Ty) Willingham, and he is a really good guy and a laid-back, calm coach," said Mays.

Last month, Mays visited the Los Angeles schools and came away impressed. "They both had nice campuses. UCLA has a really cool campus, and it's a good college town. I met Coach (Karl) Dorrell, he is the one really recruiting me. He is a lot like Coach Willingham, a good guy, laid back. I like him a lot," said Mays.

With Miami being his childhood favorite, and with the Hurricanes' reputation for putting defensive backs consistently in the NFL, it's no surprise that they are a serious suitor for Mays. "I went there last spring, and I'll probably go there again to check it out, but Miami has a great reputation for DBs."

The lone camp Mays plans to attend is the Nike Camp at Stanford. Otherwise, he is up in the air for the summer.

As a junior, Mays had 89 tackles with 5 interceptions and also had 25 catches for 514 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also scored 3 touchdowns on punt returns.

When it comes to college position, Mays has some aspirations. "I'd like to play both ways if I can. Deion Sanders and Charles Woodson are two of my favorite players, and i'ts defense first, then receiver if I can," said Mays.

Mays' said he has a timetable that will hopefully narrow down his list by August to the three or four schools he plans to visit in the fall, then after the visits he'll make a decision.

He maintains a 3.3 GPA and took the SAT in early March.

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