Mitchell Mayes penned his letter of intent for the Clemson Tigers today. Mayes comes to Clemson from nearby Raleigh, North Carolina (Leesville). The 4-star OG measures 6’4’’ 306lb and is rated as the #5 OG in the 2020 class and #151 player overall per the 247Sports Composite®.
Position coach Robbie Caldwell led the pursuit of Mayes and Clemson received a verbal commitment Mayes in early March. He picked Clemson over regional schools such as NC State and UNC along with national powers Auburn, Tennessee, and Georgia.
Mayes has the most wide ranging evaluation of any member of the 2020 class. He is currently ranked as the #51 OG overall in 247Sports’ rankings and number 969 overall. However, ESPN has him as a 5-star prospect at offensive tackle and their 14th ranked player overall. He is neither that bad nor that good. The truth is that Mayes has had weight issues that affected his foot speed as he has progressed through his high school career. Those issues were accentuated during the Opening Finals this summer where he was considered one of the worst performers of the event. He was regularly beaten during pass rush drills by other elite prospects and was rumored to show a poor attitude during the event. However, he was playing out of position at offensive tackle during in a competition that traditionally favors defensive lineman. I believe it is safe to consider Mayes a top-300 type of player with sky high potential at guard if he commits himself to the strength and conditioning program. His wide body is able to carry his weight but a transformation similar to that of Jackson Carman’s is needed. As things stand today, he is a verified road grader in the run blocking game. Unfortunately, it is difficult to evaluate his athleticism because he chose not to release his testing results from the Opening. You can watch Mayes in action during the Under Armour All American Bowl on January 2nd.
Mayes, like Paul Tchio, will be given the opportunity contribute early during his time at Clemson considering the offensive line’s lack of depth in 2020. He is an January enrollee and will greatly benefit from the offseason conditioning program. I do not expect him to make the 2-deep in 2020 given his body composition and believe he is a perfect candidate to experience Joey Batson’s Power Hour, play four games, and redshirt. Mayes projects as a multi-year starter if he’s buys into the coaching staff’s plan.
Take a look at Mayes’ Hudl film below and share your thoughts in the comments
Mayes is one of the most polarizing offensive lineman in this class. Is he the top prospect ESPN sees or should a really poor camp showing submarine his ranking? I had Mayes right around the top 100 players, but that still is a bit of a projection based on perceived ceiling and potential. His 151 overall ranking right now is fair. Clemson goes into North Carolina and takes who they want yet again.
Mayes needs to reshape his body if he wants to play any Tackle and needs work in the weight room regardless. He is a waist bender as a Tackle and needs to develop more functional strength and foot speed to hang at RT. But he has some very good high school tape and shows he can be an elite run blocker. Adjusting to the competition in college will be another challenge.
Still there is a lot to like and work with Mitchell, especially if he is moved inside. Mayes is enrolling early and will begin the transformation. If he takes to the rigors of training and eating right, he could be a surprise, but right now his trajectory looks like a redshirt year but thereafter being a quick contributor on the interior.