2012 NFL Draft: WR Thomas Mayo from California University of Pennsylvania

Scott BischoffCorrespondent IIMarch 13, 2012

Thomas Mayo is an extremely productive, playmaking wide receiver out of the California University of Pennsylvania.  Mayo, 6'1.25" and 207 lbs, played in the Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

Following his third straight 1000-yard season, he was named a Daktronics First Team All-American.  Mayo led the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and ranked second in the country with a career-high 16 receiving touchdowns. He also finished the year ranked fourth in the nation with 1,359 receiving yards on 79 catches.

The Virginia native is the active career leader and ranks 11th all-time in NCAA Division II history with 4,249 receiving yards. He also is second among active players with 262 catches and 44 receiving touchdowns with both career totals ranking among the top-20 in NCAA Division II history.

I caught up with him and had a chance to talk to him about football and his thoughts going forward.  The first thing I wanted to know was if he thought his senior season's production was going to make people take notice.  He said, “I think so.  My whole career has been pretty amazing and I hope that they take notice of that not just one season, but I've been pretty consistent my whole career.”

We talked about playing football, and you could tell he was excited just talking about it.  It was obvious that he loves the game.  I asked him what the strength of his game was.  He said that he was a real physical receiver and that he loved blocking and that he takes pride in it.

I asked him to tell me more about how the player he was.  “I enjoy blocking, I’m a hardworking type of guy but I can also stretch the field.”  He told me that his favorite route was the slant and that he loved the physicality of the play. 

He likes the intermediate routes but has no problem getting deep either.  He mentioned his size and said “I love it in the red zone, just throw it up and give me a chance.”

When I asked him for a comparison for his game to a current player in the NFL, he said, “Anquan Boldin, the way he works and is physical blocking, I'm a hard-working kind of a guy like that.” But he mentioned that he did have some explosion to his game like Dez Bryant does.

I asked him what his favorite moment was from college.  He said “getting the conference championship ring attached to you, that's obviously one of the best moments.”  He said the ultimate goal was to win the national championship but that “sharing that with my teammates and getting to know all the work that we put in the summer had paid off of the conference ring” was special for him.

Mayo was invited to the East-West Shrine game where he caught three passes for 41 yards.  I asked him about his experience at the game.  He said it was a good experience for him and that it was great to play against some of the top talent in the country. 

I asked him what he took away from the game.  He said “it gave me a lot of confidence in talking to the scouts and everything, they told me to work on my route running but I knew that from day one coming from a small school.”  He was excited about the opportunity to “get that advanced coaching from NFL coaches on how to run routes.”

He mentioned wide receiver coach Jeff Johnson from Johnson Elite Sports and how he had helped him learn the routes and how much better he had gotten already.  He looks forward to the opportunity to show the scouts that he has come a long way and that he is still getting better.

We talked about the future and what his hopes are from an NFL perspective.  I asked him what he felt he could offer to a team. 

He said that he thought he could contribute right away because he was a winner and he's willing to do whatever it takes “whether that is blocking, catching balls or anything.”  He talked about his ability to be trustworthy and dependable and how he is a leader who can help lead the guys to do whatever it takes to win.

Mayo has made some plays that stand out.  Sometimes only the players know how important certain plays are and Mayo described the play to me that stood out for him.  The first video is of that play.  In this game were two teams fighting for a playoff spot.  The weather was bad and his team had fourth and 21 from the opponent’s 33-yard line, but they couldn't kick a field goal due to the weather.

The video shows what Mayo does with his body and his size and his ability to make a play.  Mayo says, “I gave my body up and caught the ball, most people think it's a great catch but I consider it routine.”  With a first down he put his team in a position to score and put the game away.  “That's a big play of the season.”

When I asked him what he would want fans to know, he said that even though he comes from a small school, he wants to come in, make plays and help the team win championships.  He feels like he can “go out there and make plays just like all the other big school kids” and that he can be just as good as or better than them.  He said he is ready to play football and help the team win.

Mayo participated in the regional combine in Atlanta on Saturday March 10.  It was a goal of his to perform well during this workout.  He needed to put up good numbers at his workout to match the great production that teams can see watching his film.  He did just that, particularly in the vertical jump.

  • ·         15 reps on the bench at 225 lbs., tied for 18th among WR’s.
  • ·         41.5” vertical jump, number one overall among WR’s.
  • ·         4.48 seconds in the 40 yard dash, 23rd among WR’s.

He may have gone to a small school, but the numbers he produced were anything but small.  You can't deny his production, and you can’t deny his athletic ability.  He isn’t the type of player anyone should sleep on either as evidenced by the videos of him making plays.  

Given a chance in the NFL, he is out to prove that he belongs.