Aug. 27, 2003

By Alan Wasielewski

Don’t blame junior linebacker Corey Mays if he gets frustrated at times. The first Chicago Public League player at Notre Dame since All-American Chris Zorich, Mays has been sidelined with a host of injuries since stepping on campus three years ago.

Those frustrations need to be put aside for the 2003 season, however. After sitting out the spring semester with a shoulder injury, Mays will need to step up in a group of linebackers basking in talent, but hurting in depth.

“Corey was really able to learn the defense toward the end of the year,” linebacker coach Bob Simmons says.

“He has the ability to ‘muddy the water’ in the middle of the defense. He just needs to stay healthy and develop some confidence.”

Mays did see action in 10 games last year on special teams while battling through his shoulder injury. He made 123 appearances and earned his first monogram. Mays also appeared in the regular defense against Florida State, recording a tackle and his first career forced fumble.

Mays will be called on to have that kind of impact this fall and take advantage of the opportunity for an increase in playing time.

“We really need Corey to stay healthy this season,” Simmons says.

“He has a lot of talent, but has not had a chance to show many people what he can do on the field so far in his career. He will be a key in the success of the linebackers this fall and I know he is ready for the challenge.”