Scott Mays picks Air Force and plans to play football there.
By FRANK PASTOR, Times Staff Writer
Published February 7, 2005
LAND O'LAKES - Scott Mays was accepted at Florida and pursued by numerous Division II football programs.
But the Land O'Lakes senior wanted something different from college, something that's not for everyone.
This weekend, he believes he found it.
Mays, the Times' two-time Pasco County defensive player of the year, orally accepted an appointment to the Air Force Academy.
Mays announced his intention to recruiting coach Tim Horton Saturday night during a visit to the campus in Colorado Springs, Colo., and awaits paperwork to be processed before he can sign.
He has been told he has a spot on the football team and will play on the junior varsity as a freshman.
"Going out there this weekend, I kind of knew this was what I wanted to do," Mays said. "And when I got there, I just couldn't pass it up."
Mays has had uncles and a grandfather who served in the Air Force, but he said he didn't have any pressure from his family to commit to the academy.
"It's something that's always appealed to me since I was a kid, something I've wanted to do," said Mays, who has a five-year military commitment following graduation. "It's not cut out for everybody. I believe it's for me."
Mays, a fullback and linebacker, made the Class 4A second-team all-state offense as a senior after rushing for 875 yards and 14 touchdowns. The driving force behind Land O'Lakes' district championship run, he made 119 tackles on his way to earning the Florida Dairy Farmers District 8, Class 4A player of the year award.
A standout wrestler who placed fourth in the state at 189 pounds as a junior, he said he will give up the sport in college.
"It's always tough to give up something you still love, but I guess I've got to move on," Mays said. "I've still got the rest of this year to wrestle."