Joe Mays #53 ILB
Height: 5-11 Weight: 244 Age: 28
Born: 7/6/1985 Chicago , IL
College: North Dakota State
Experience: 6th season
High School: Hyde Park HS [Chicago, IL]
Selected By: Philadelphia Eagles
Pick (Overall): 34 (200)
A powerfully built linebacker known for his outstanding performances in the training room and bone-jarring hits on the playing field.
Mays has the ability to generate explosion on contact and has had good success dislodging the ball from ballcarriers during his three years as a starter.
The 2007 Great West Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year has always been a tremendous hitter who turns heads with his "de-cleater" tackles. He has excellent quickness for his size and was the unquestioned defensive leader in the middle of the field. He has solid football instincts and is always around the action.
Mays was a standout linebacker at Hyde Park High School, where he was a two-time first- team All-Conference performer and a first team All-City selection for head coach Wesley Yates. He recorded 115 tackles his senior season, including 16 sacks and had a pair of interceptions. He also produced 110 tackles his junior campaign.
Mays enrolled at North Dakota State in 2003, spending the season with the scout team. He played in 11 games as a reserve inside linebacker and special-teamer in 2004. That season, he registered 45 tackles (28 solo) with three sacks and five stops for losses.
Mays earned first-team All-Great West Football Conference honors from the media and was chosen to Football Gazette's All-Region second-team in 2005. He took over middle linebacker chores, pacing the Bison with 83 tackles (48 solo). He added four sacks, 10.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and eight pressures. He also picked off three passes and caused two fumbles.
The North Dakota State middle linebacker was limited at midseason by a groin injury, but still tied for the team lead with 67 tackles (38 solo) in 2006. He was again named to the All-GWFC first-team, as he had two sacks, five stops for losses and a forced fumble. He also broke up three passes.
The Great West Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year received All-American honors as a senior in 2007. He sat out the Southern Utah game with a hip strain, but still led the team with a career-high 90 tackles (45 solo), including 2.5 sacks and nine stops for minus-32 yards. He deflected six passes and gained 49 yards on two kickoff returns.
Mays started 31 of 43 games at North Dakota State, recording 285 total tackles and a school-record 159 solo hits. He had 11 sacks for minus-90 yards, 29.5 stops for losses of 131 yards and 12 quarterback pressures. He caused four fumbles, batted down 11 passes and intercepted three others for 29 yards in returns. He also gained 53 yards on three kickoff returns (17.7-yard average).