Last season, Thomas Mayo had an opportunity to go from Cal U and make the Oakland Raiders’ squad. Unfortunately he was released when the preseason came. After a brief stint in the Arena Football League, Mayo, again, finds himself on an NFL roster, this time with the New York Jets.
Mayo was picked up by the Jets back in March, but was waived by the team in the beginning of May. Five days later, he was re-signed and has been working out with the team all summer. On his Twitter handle, Mayo takes over the nickname, “Mr. No Days Off.” This nickname refers to his hard working attitude and approach to football as well as life.
During college, Mayo bounced around from Concord University to Cal University. During his time at both schools, Mayo saw great success. He was named to various All-Conference teams throughout his career.
“My time at Cal U prepared me well for the NFL,” Mayo said. “Coach Kellar who was my coach at Concord University as well , helped me to be mentally prepared for what the NFL is going to throw at you and to not take things personal because the NFL is a business.”
Mayo also picked up some great advice towards his attitude in college.
“Confidence is everything. Coach Wilson also helped me as far as running NFL routes and becoming a film room guy and how to read coverages on the fly.”
“It was a great experience,” Mayo said of his time playing college ball.
When a player gets cut from an NFL team, it’s sometimes hard to get back up on the horse, but Mayo claims that he has a new approach to this opportunity, and he continues to carry that same confidence from college.
“Last year I didn’t know what to expect and mentally I was a little behind in my playbook because the way I was studying didn’t really help me out,” Mayo said of his first try at the NFL.
This season is different, he says.
“This time I knew what to expect and I don’t take one day for granted because it can be your last. And I love playing for Rex [Ryan] and my [wide receiver] coach. They’re great coaches and let you play your game.”
It helps that Mayo is making this journey with his former teammate at Cal, Rontez Miles, who was signed after the draft.
“It feels great having someone you played with in college by your side in the NFL because it doesn’t happen often. He’s like a brother and that’s exactly how we treat each other here in New York.”
Mayo is a receiver and Miles is a safety. It’s very likely that when things get kicked off in August that they’ll square off at least once. Mayo says he’s looking forward to that day.
“We have yet to clash but whenever it happens it’s going to be loud because we both play with so much emotion,” he said laughingly. “He’s a football player if I ever seen one.”
Many analysts have been criticizing the Jets offense because of their “lack of firepower”. Being part of that offense, Mayo begs to differ.
“I think we have a lot of fire power. Yes not big names but that doesn’t mean anything,” Mayo says.
Mayo says that despite the talks of a “terrible” Jets’ receiving corps, Mayo and the other receivers don’t “pay any mind to it.”
“We just continue to do what we can control and that’s to continue to work hard and get better.”
Of course, everyone knows there is a raging quarterback battle in New York between Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith. Mayo says that this doesn’t affect him and the other wide outs.
“At the end of the day, our job as wide receivers is to make it easy on the QB by getting open and catching the ball. So we can’t worry about who’s throwing us the ball, we just got to do our job.”
Overall, Mayo is enjoying his opportunity and says he is using the time to mentally and physically prepare for pre-season by giving back to young athletes and helping them realize their potential.
“It’s been a lot of fun but still a long road ahead of us and a lot more work to do.”
Photo Credit: footballsfuture.com