In his four years at USC, Taylor Mays has picked up plenty of superlatives. On Wednesday, the senior safety made the cut for two awards that would further add to his resume.
Mays was named a semifinalist for both the Bednarik Award, given to the best defensive player in college football, and the Thorpe Award, given to the best defensive back in college football. Some may be surprised to see Mays on the list because he has just one interception this year, but last year he was named a Thorpe Award finalist with no interceptions. He eventually lost out to Ohio State’s Malcolm Jenkins, however, so maybe a little stat-padding could help his cause.
The 6-foot-3 safety has been active in the secondary, however. With 55 tackles, he’s on track for a career high in the statistic – the most he had was 65 tackles as sophomore.
Mays faces stiff competition on both lists, however. Tennessee’s Eric Berry is on both lists, though he too has struggled with producing gaudy stats this year.