Raleigh (N.C.) Leesville Road five-star offensive lineman and Clemson commitment Mitchell Mayes enjoyed participating in The Opening Finals this week in Frisco, Texas, and feels liked he improved as a football player.
But more importantly, Mayes believes he grew as a person off the field, too, thanks to his time at The Opening.
Mayes and the other prospects there were able to spend time with local children fighting cancer who are a part of the “NEGU” (Never Ever Give Up) organization.
“We learned a lot about what this is all about, and it’s bigger than just football – it’s about growing and helping,” Mayes told The Clemson Insider. “We got to talk to Brendan Taylor and NEGU, help out with kids with cancer and learn to set the expectation and be a good person throughout interactions with other people.”
Not only did Mayes get coached by some of the best coaches out there and learn things that will make him a better offensive lineman, but he also received valuable life lessons that will help him moving forward and in the future when his football career is over.
“I learned a lot about what you should do, making your own brand, branding yourself and continuing to set the expectation,” Mayes said. “It’s a lot bigger than just football. I have a platform and you can do a lot of things with your platform.”
On the field, Mayes performed very well, particularly in one-on-one drills. He had fun competing with his fellow Clemson commits that were at The Opening Finals and thought his future teammates did well also.
“It’s just great seeing all the Clemson guys working,” Mayes said. “We cheer for each other, offense or defense, and I’m just happy seeing them do well.”
The Opening also gave Mayes a good opportunity to chop it up with some of the Clemson targets there such as Phenix City (Ala.) Central four-star receiver E.J. Williams and Marietta (Ga.) five-star tight end Arik Gilbert.
“I’ve been talking to E.J.,” Mayes said. “E.J. did well in the 7-on-7. Arik Gilbert, I talked to him a little bit as well. Just talking to those guys, trying to gain some people to come here, make us even better.”