Oct. 14, 2005
Senior linebacker Corey Mays is in his fifth season with the Irish and his first as a starting linebacker. Prior to this season, Mays, a three-time monogram winner has seen duty as a backup at linebacker and as one of Notre Dame’s top special teams players. Through the first five games of the season, Mays was fourth on the team with 25 tackles (18 solo, seven assists), had one sack, 2.5 tackles for loss and a pair of fumble recoveries. The Chicago, Ill., native was a first-team all-state linebacker at Morgan Park High School and was a second-team pick on USA Today’s All-America team. He graduated in January of ’05 with degrees in psychology and sociology and is currently enrolled in graduate studies at Notre Dame. GameDay Magazine’s Matt Willett gives Irish fans a chance to get to know Corey Mays.
Willett: What is your major and how did you get interested in that area of study?
Mays: I graduated in January of ’05 with a double major in sociology and psychology. Psychology interests me, because I like studying the human mind. I want to take that into business and work with human resources to get to know people. Right now, I am taking graduate courses as I work towards a Masters degree in Industrial Psychology.
Willett: What is your favorite class and why?
Mays: My favorite classes were any of the classes I had in psychology with Professor Kathleen Gibney, mainly because of the professor and the relationship we had.
Willett: What made you pick Notre Dame over the other schools you were interested in? What were the other schools?
Mays: I chose Notre Dame because four years ago, it was really the right fit for me. Looking back, I was thinking past college and looking for what was going to work for me education wise. I picked Notre Dame over Miami, Boston College and most of the teams that we play every year.
Willett: To date, what has been the highlight of your Notre Dame career?
Mays: Just being here at Notre Dame has been the highlight for me. When you’re down or had a bad day and a fan walks up to you and you see that look in their eye, it reminds you of how blessed you are to be here.
Willett: Who were your sports idols as a kid and why?
Mays: Ironically, one of my idols as a kid was Jerome Bettis. He has had a huge influence on me. Also, being from Chicago, another athlete that I looked up to was Michael Jordan. I admire the way he takes charge and his perseverance.
Willett: Who has been your biggest non-sports role model and why?
Mays: I really can’t narrow it down to one person who has been my biggest non-sports role model. I would have to say that it’s been my entire family for all the support that they’ve given me through all the good and bad, outside of football and before football.
Willett: What is one thing in your life that you cannot live without?
Mays: I can’t live without air and water. I’m a simple guy. I don’t need that much.
Willett: What is the best advice that you have ever been given and who gave it to you?
Mays: The best advice that I have ever been given would be to “See it through.” A lot of people have given me that advice throughout my life.
Willett: How do you think you’ve grown as a person since coming to Notre Dame?
Mays: Since coming to Notre Dame, I’ve really grown in all facets of my life – mentally, physically and spiritually. I’ve become a more mature person. It’s been a real positive experience for me.
Willett: What is one thing about you that might surprise people?
Mays: One thing that might surprise people is that I’m a nice guy. If you see me walking and don’t talk to me, you might get the wrong impression. Once people get to know me though, they find out that I’m a nice guy.
Willett: If you were stranded on an island and could only eat one meal, only listen to one song, and spend your time with only one person; what would you eat, what would you listen to and who would you pick?
Mays: If I were stranded on an island I would want a steak dinner, a Benihanna’s steak dinner. I would listen to some R & B music and the person would be a “special someone.”
Willett: Where is the toughest place that you’ve played as a college football player?
Mays: For me, the toughest place that I’ve played would definitely be at USC. The atmosphere surrounding a game there is incredible.
Willett: What would a movie about your life be titled and who would star as you?
Mays: The movie would be titled “The Corey Mays Story,” and Denzel Washington would play me.
Willett: If you had the chance to play golf with anyone in history, besides you, who else would be in your foursome and why would you pick those three people?
Mays: I don’t really play golf, so I guess I would have Tiger Woods in my foursome, so he could teach me. I would have Socrates play because of my interest in philosophy and Malcolm X. They would be able to give me a variety of different views on life.
Willett: Describe what it feels like on game day and playing at Notre Dame Stadium.
Mays: Game day at Notre Dame Stadium is something that I can’t explain. There is no other feeling you could want to have. I’ve never experienced anything like it in anything else that I’ve ever done.
Willett: What is your favorite thing about playing for Notre Dame?
Mays: My favorite think about playing at Notre Dame is that it’s Notre Dame and there really is no other place like it. There will never be another place like Notre Dame.