FORMER NFL PLAYER TALKS TO HEIDELBERG STUDENT-ATHLETES
HEIDELBERG, Germany, Oct. 13 — The U.S. Army issued the
following news release:
football player and Super Bowl champ
Derrick Mayes, has achieved a great deal in his 36 years and it’s
no surprise several of his accomplishments have been on a
Mayes has lived amid the glitz, glamour and glory of
professional sports and shared in many of its most hallowed
hallmarks. Yet there was little mention of that in his message to
Heidelberg High School parents and student athletes Oct. 5.
Instead, the former wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers,
Seattle Sea Hawks and Kansas City Chiefs spoke about something far
“I’m standing here today as a Notre Dame alum, and that’s what
I’m proud about,” Mayes said. “You don’t see me wearing my Super
Bowl rings. Brett Favre broke about four of my fingers, and I can’t
wear them any more but it doesn’t matter because I can’t take them
to the grave with me. What I can take is knowing that I spent
three-and-a-half of the best years of my life playing the sport I
loved while getting a quality education. And each and every one of
you can do that yourself. Each of you all has that
Mayes works with the Chicago-based National Collegiate Scouting
He toured several Department of Defense Dependents Schools here
and discussed the
college recruiting process and what
student athletes can do now to increase their chances to receive
scholarships and to attract the attention of top teams.
“It’s very important for me to give back and sort of pay it
forward as well. I was very fortunate to get a scholarship to play
football and then be drafted into
the NFL. The one thing that rings true, is it all starts right here
at this high school level,” Mayes said. “What I’ve been able to do
is go around the United States, and now here, to provide this
information and these tools because there is such a need for kids
to be empowered and educated about the recruiting process.”
Mayes received a division one
football scholarship to Notre Dame
University in 1993. He graduated in
1996 with a degree in film and communications.
That same year, the former fighting Irishman was drafted in the
second round by the Green Bay Packers and earned his first Super
Bowl championship his rookie year.
He spent six seasons in the league.
The Indiana native admitted the recruiting process had
definitely changed since he was in school. He urged athletes and
parents to use the Internet to market themselves, especially since
they’re overseas and do not have the same level of visibility as
players in the states.
Mayes also said many
colleges face a budget crunch,
forcing coaches to find and evaluate fresh talent online.
Some potential players are being looked at as early as middle
He recommended athletes create an online academic and athletic
resume and post it on
college recruiting Web sites, versus
sending out dozens of unsolicited DVDs or videos.
The NCSA Web site is one of several recruiting sites, which
allows players to create a personal profile or resume for
college coaches to access.
“Parents need to know that their sons and daughters are on the
clock, especially if they’re in high school. Kids are getting
evaluated as early as seventh and eighth grade by these
college institutions,” Mayes said.
Parents also need to know it’s a collective pursuit. You can’t do
it with just the student athletes and you certainly can’t blame
your coach for not getting you a scholarship. Together parents and
students have to take the tools they have and put them into
Sgt. 1st Class Dana Dillon, 18th Engineer Brigade, attended the
event with his son, Carlos, a junior and a
football player at the school.
“I think it’s important for me to be here because it shows that
I support him and I care about him pursuing higher education,”
Dillon said. “I’m already putting money away for him for
college, and we’re also looking for
scholarships. This is just another step to getting him enrolled and
on the right track.”
Mayes also stressed academic excellence above all else and
encouraged athletes and parents to place as much focus on their
studies as their athletic abilities.
“The odds of going into the professional rank in any sport are
very slim, so what we need to be doing is reconditioning our
student athletes and asking them, ‘what is your overall goal?’ It
should be to get a quality education,” Mayes said. Now if you can
do that while playing the sport you love, that’s a win-win for
everybody. That’s the message I want parents and athletes to take
For Sterling Jones, Heidelberg High School senior, Mayes’ visit
was an eye-opener.
“I wanted to further my education on sport’s scholarships and
find out what I could do to better myself and make sure I get into
a good school,” he said.
football and basketball and wants
to attend either Louisiana State
University or Hampton
University in Virginia.
“I thought as a senior it might have been too late to try and
apply for these things but I know now that I still have a
Mayes retired from the NFL in 2001 and began working with the
NCSA about two years ago.
For information on the
college athletic recruiting process
visit www.ncsasports.org and www.NCAA.com. For any query with
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