HEIDELBERG, Germany, Oct. 13 — The U.S. Army issued the

following news release:

Former pro-

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

football field.

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

less fleeting.

“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.

Jones plays

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

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