The Georgia coaches landed a big commitment this weekend when Spalding defensive tackle Chris Mayes gave his verbal pledge to play in Athens.
If you look for Mayes in the 2011 recruiting rankings, you'll have to scroll pretty far down the list. He's rated the #23 DT in the country by ESPN, #31 by Rivals and #45 by Scout. But it's amazing that Mayes has garnered that kind of attention given that he's only played one year of football.
He's all raw potential at this point. Scout actually has a snippet of video of Mayes during spring practice a few months ago. It's nothing terribly impressive. He seems to play too high and needs to improve his footwork. But if I were casting a defensive tackle based solely on appearance, he would look exactly like Mayes:
You can however see in this video that Mayes moves pretty well for his size. Coach Garner can certainly teach him to move the right way. I don't think we've had a better position coach over the past decade at turning players with potential into something special. Mayes actually has plenty of room to grow, seeming a little skinny at his current weight. Some have implied that the Bulldog defense needs a 6'5, 320 pound anchor in the middle. Like the Senator I'm not certain that's the case in a one gap 3-4 system. But if it is, Chris Mayes looks like a candidate to fill the job.
I also like the fact that Mayes is already tight friends with fellow Griffin natives Corey Moore (who committed to Georgia all the way back in January) and Xzavier Dickson, who we'll be fighting Alabama for down the stretch.
Is he a sure thing? No. But Mayes has the physical tools to be a solid presence in the middle for the Georgia defense. Welcome aboard Chris!