Even though Melbourne (Fla.) Holy Trinity Episcopal safety Marcus Maye might be a big fish in a small pond, he isn't afraid to jump in the ocean.
Despite holding offers from Florida, Florida State, Miami, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, South Florida, UCF, Illinois and South Carolina, Maye has his critics.
His detractors question how well the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder's talent would translate at one of the larger schools in his area like Palm Bay, Bayside, Melbourne or Cocoa. Holy Trinity Episcopal is in Class 1A -- the second smallest classification in the state.
"I hear about it everyday in the neighborhood," Maye said. "They always talk about me playing 'small ball.' I just take it all in and when I go on the field I do what I have to do."
What Maye has done is generate a lot of buzz about his abilities and he proved with a strong performance at the Nike camp in Miami last weekend that the buzz is legitimate.
"The competition there was terrific," Maye said. "There were a lot of players from South Florida there and those guys are always ready to go. I think I did everything to the best of my abilities and had a pretty good day."
It's like that whenever Maye heads to a camp. Rather than ignore the criticism, he uses it as motivation. He tries to choose the camps that will have the most competition so he can go up against the top prospects from the bigger schools.
"When I go to the camps against the top players in the state of Florida, I just go out there and prove what I have to prove," Maye added. "I try to show show everybody it doesn't matter what size of the school you go to. I work as hard as I can and every time I step on the field I want to prove people wrong."
Maye doesn't have to prove anything else for major programs to be interested. This week he took unofficial visits to Alabama and Auburn.
"Both visits went very well, I had a great time at both schools. I got to see exactly what I needed to see," Maye said. "I got to hang out with both coaching staffs and some of the players and I got to tour both of the schools."
The SEC West powers join Florida, Florida State, Miami and LSU as Maye's top choices.
He hasn't been to LSU yet but says he will do it in April or after spring football when school ends. There's a good chance Maye will stay in the Southeast and the three in-state programs may have an advantage. He has taken unofficials to all three.
"Each of the in-state schools has fairly new coaching staffs," Maye said. "Florida and Miami have brand new head coaches and coach [Jimbo] Fisher is in his second year at FSU. They all are heading in the right direction. I am eager to watch all of them play this season."
Maye is the definition of an all-purpose player for his high school program. He'll play any skill position on offense, including quarterback, and plays safety and linebacker on defense. He's also involved in the return game.
He rushed for over 800 yards in his first three games before a leg injury forced him to miss four games. He came back to close to season but wasn't fully healthy and only played limited snaps at offense down the stretch.
At the next level it appears that his future will be on defense.
"Most schools are recruiting me at the strong safety position or a nickel back as a bit of a hybrid," Maye said. "I enjoy being at safety, you can see everything and you can make plays anywhere on the field."
Maye says he's finally 100 percent and ready to have a memorable senior season. With that it means that recruiting and an eventual decision will most likely wait until after his fall season ends.
"Once spring ball starts I'm going to be fully focused on working with my teammates," Maye said. "In the summer I'm going to hit the camps and get my name out there more but I probably won't commit until after the season because I want to focus on the team and playing with my teammates. Once the season's done I'll still with my mom and my family and we will make a decision."
Holloway talks Sun Devils
It wasn't a big shock that running back Brandon Holloway (Tampa, Fla./Alonso) finally received an offer from a BCS program.
But the program that came calling -- Arizona State -- was a shock to many, especially Holloway himself.
"They came out of nowhere really, my coach told about the offer when I was at a track meet," Holloway said. "I haven't really had a chance to talk to the coaches. I am going to do it soon."
Holloway said that the Sun Devils coaches had spoken to a member of the Alonso staff a couple of nights ago about their interest in the 5-8, 160-pounder. A day later they came with an offer. The offer might have given Holloway some extra motivation for his track meet as he ran a season's best, 10.54 in the 100 meters and also won the 200 meters in the state qualifier meet.
Now that the first BCS offer is in hand, Holloway is definitely looking ahead of what's next.
"Things are starting to get real exciting now," Holloway said. "I've heard from a couple of different schools. Miami wants me to come down for a spring visit and I'm trying to get down there."
Holloway, who also has offers from North Texas and Toledo, says that Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic appear to be ready to offer.
Big Bend team announced
In the upcoming Badger Sports 7-on-7 showcase in Mobile, Ala., there will be a team compromised of players from the Big Bend area, which includes Tallahassee and surrounding areas.
Members of the team are: D.J. Abner, ATH, (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln), Raphael Andredas, WR (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln), Brett Biller, RB (St. Cloud, Fla./St. Cloud), Travis Blanks, DB (Tallahassee, Fla./North Florida Christian), Marcus Clark, RB (Tallahassee, Fla./North Florida Christian), Matt Dobson, QB (Tallahassee, Fla./North Florida Christian), Marshane Godbolt, DB (Crawfordville, Fla./Wakulla), Eli Grambling, QB/ATH (Perry, Fla./Taylor County), Jaren Colsten-Green, WR (Tallahassee, Fla./Leon), Austin Logan, DB, (Tallahassee, Fla./Florida High), Caleb Stephens, LB (Crawfordville, Fla./Wakulla), Marcus Wilson, CB (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln)
There will also be a team made of prospects from the Northwest Panhandle that will also be participating in the Mobile event.
There is a lot of talk about running back Sony Michel (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage) this offseason. Is a Class of 2014 prospect being that highly recruited right now? If that's the case where do the Gators stand with him?
Well, Sony Michel isn't just any normal prospect so his recruitment has started considerably earlier than most players just entering their sophomore years. And his future destination will be cause of much speculation for the next three years. I think much of Michel's future with any in-state program comes down to what is on the depth chart after the 2013 recruiting cycle.
As for Florida's chances with him, I believe the Gators will try hard to land the commitment of Class of 2013 running back Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Day) since he has strong family ties to the program (his father Fred Taylor was a Gator from 1995-1997). It's highly unlikely that Taylor and Michel will share a backfield together. For his part, Michel says he grew up as a Miami Hurricanes fan.
UCF made some major strides in recruiting over the last season. With the Knights expected to sign such a small group in 2012, can they keep up the momentum?
Winter Springs, Fla.
Definitely. So far the returns in from the UCF junior day events have been very positive and as long as the Knights can build on their successful 2010 season the staff should be able to pull a few difference makers in a class of around 15 players (or less).
Take your pick: Marcus Maye (Melbourne, Fla./Holy Trinity Episcopal) or Nelson Agholor (Tampa, Fla./Berkeley Prep)?
Unfair question! I have only seen Maye on film and I'd like to see him in person before making that choice. More than likely they will play on different sides of the ball as Maye is being recruited as a safety and honestly could get big enough to play a safety/linebacker hybrid or even an outside linebacker. Agholor is a dynamic offensive talent in my opinion and has a very bright future as a wide receiver. So why choose? Just take both.
Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.