Jared Mayden locked into a school near the end of his recruitment, but it wasn’t the college he ended up signing with.
Mayden, a four-star cornerback from Sachse (Texas) High School, told SEC Country that he was zeroed in on Florida State and was most likely going to commit there.
“The coach told me he had a spot for me, but told me not to commit,” Mayden said of what happened with Florida State. “He told me I could come on an official visit. The coach never got back to me and didn’t say anything about the official visit.”
The Seminoles bluntly told Mayden that he wasn’t their top priority, which is why the official visit plans fell through. In the end, Mayden isn’t sour with how things ended up.
“The (FSU) coach told me they were going to take (Clemson cornerback signee) Trayvon Mullen, who they ended up not getting,” Mayden said. “I thought it was pretty messed up, but at the same time, it is business. I wasn’t tripping, really, because Alabama is the best school. It was messed up, but I can’t be mad at them.”
Mayden ended up signing with Alabama on National Signing Day, giving the Crimson Tide three cornerback commits in their 2016 class.
The following is a question-and-answer with Mayden in our first edition of our Alabama recruiting rewind series.
Q: If you could give a junior ONLY one piece of advice about the recruiting process, what would it be?
A: “Just take your time and make sure you know what you want because everyone is going to say what they’re going to say.”
Q: What school came in second? What could they have done a little better?
A: “Oklahoma came in second. I just didn’t have a strong relationship with the defensive coordinator, Mike Stoops. I really only talked to Bob Stoops. I think having a better relationship with Mike could have helped.”
Q: What was the most creative thing a school or coach did to get your attention?
A: “Probably when Coach Saban came to my house and did the Wobble. I just thought it was cool that he would do that because most people don’t expect Coach Saban to do something like that.”
Q: What was the biggest rumor about you that wasn’t true?
A: “When everyone was saying that I had committed to Alabama because I didn’t. I hadn’t even been on stage to get called down and there were so many people saying I had committed. I was like ‘I guess they can read minds.’
“Another surprise was when I was first committed to Oregon at The Opening. A lot of reporters were saying I had on Ohio State clothes. I didn’t even have anything Ohio State with me. Everyone just kept on saying ‘he’s going to Ohio State.’ They made me out like I was decked out in Ohio State gear when I don’t even have any Ohio State clothes.”
Q: What’s the biggest secret you kept during the recruiting process?
A: “I was committed to Oregon for three months before I said it at The Opening. I really wanted to wait for The Opening. It was a dream of mine to (announce my commitment) at The Opening. I told the Oregon coaches I was going to announce it then.”
Q: What is the funniest thing any head coach said to you during the entire recruiting process?
A: “The funniest thing to me is always when coaches try to say my school’s name (Sachse — pronounced SACK-CEE). Everyone just pronounces it wrong. I think (Ohio State coach) Urban Meyer said it the worst.”
Q: What was the funniest story that happened on one of your recruiting trips?
A: “When I went to the Ohio State-Michigan game my sophomore year, some Michigan fan went crazy. I had a hot dog in my hand. The Ohio State fans were saying some chant and I chanted with them. I bumped into a Michigan fan by accident and he slapped the hot dog out of my hand. It was crazy. I was sad and he just snuck off into the night. I looked down at my hot dog and when I looked up, he was gone.”
Q: Which coach was it the hardest to say no?
A: “(Secondary) Coach (John) Neal from Oregon. Coach Neal is a really cool guy. I really like him. With him being my position coach at Oregon, it was hard to call him to tell him I wasn’t coming there.”
Q: Which college would you have considered more seriously if they had offered you earlier in the process?
A: “LSU because (defensive backs coach Corey) Raymond is a pretty cool guy. (LSU safety) Jamal Adams and I have the same trainer. Seeing him perform I just thought that I could possibly do the same things he is doing at LSU.”
Q: How much negative recruiting was out there?
A: “There was a lot, but most of it was from fans, though. Some coaches would say some bad things about schools. They would always talk about Alabama like ‘Nick Satan.’ They would always tell me that if I went to (Alabama), I would have to sit behind a bunch of four-stars and five-stars. That never made sense to me because what’s going to happen? Are you going to have to wait until senior year to play because someone is ahead of you? Minkah Fitzpatrick is a freshman that played and so did Marlon Humphrey.”
Q: If you were in charge of the NCAA, what’s the one rule you would change with recruiting?
A: “I wouldn’t change the amount of official visits, but I would change when you can take them. I wish you could take them earlier. I wish you could take them the summer heading into senior year because there’s not much time during the fall.”
Welcome to the family, Jared!
— Crimson Tide FB (@CrimsonTide_FB) February 3, 2016