• John Macon Gillespie

Fortius Spotlight: DeMario Mays

There wasn’t home field advantage for the players from Madison Central on Saturday at the Fortius Project. But the event did take place at Madison-Ridgeland Academy, and the proximity was enough for Jaguar defensive back DeMario Mays to be called the hometown hero of the camp.

The rising senior was deemed the best defensive back of the day alongside Northwest Rankin’s Kam Krooks, by none other than Krooks himself. It was clear to others as well, though, that Mays was certainly a special talent.

During testing drills the first half the day, Mays was consistently at the top of his group. His results were impressive in the 40-yard dash and the 5-10-5 shuttle drills as well as the broad and vertical jumps. However, his love for competition really showed during team competitions.

“I really enjoyed the camp. The 1-on-1s and 7-on-7s are what really stuck out,” the ball-hawking defender told SES Mississippi.

While Mays feels that his speed and “great” ball skills are what allowed him to dominate the competitive portions of Fortius, he insists that his all-around coverage skills improved on the day. Also, he feels watching how the other competitors completed their drills was an aid in his improvement as well.

This offseason is all about work for Mays. He has goals in front of him and he knows that hard work is the only way to navigate ahead to reach those milestones ahead of him. Though getting better as a player, to him, is all about how that benefits his team.

“Next year I just want to go all the way and bring back a ring to the Jungle,” Mays explained.

In order to be the player he needs to be to help his team make a run he’s diligently working to improve his man-to-man coverage. Working out against some of those guys he will be covering next Fall like he did at Fortius is a major step in that direction.

While he showed that he is certainly talented on the defensive side of the ball, he understands it is still a work in progress. In fact he still remembers work out with a famous former Jaguar receiver back when he played on the offensive side of the ball.

“I ca also play receiver. That was my position before I moved to defensive back. I remember working out with my cousin Tobias Singleton,” He said.

Singleton signed with Ole Miss in the class of 2011 and eventually finished his career at Jackson State. He was a highly-rated prospect with a great amount of talent. With him knowing what it takes to make it to the SEC, Mays knew there was something to be learned from his family member.

“I modeled his passion and determination for the game. I learned from him that there are some who want to be great and there are some who are working hard to be great,” May said.

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