Name: Marcus Maye
High School: Holy Trinity (Melbourne, FL)
Status: Verbally committed to Florida
One of the ones Florida fans have been waiting for, Marcus Maye made it official on Monday when he committed to play for the Gators. The no. 7 safety and no. 128 prospect overall according to Rivals, Maye had been long rumored to be coming to the orange and blue. Not having to wait any longer for his commitment is great news as Maye has already proved to be a valuable recruiter for Florida. He will do his best to sway others to join him, most notably the nation’s no. 9 overall player and Maye’s close friend Nelson Agholor.
Like many top prospects, Maye plays on both sides of the ball and is not a bad ball carrier at all. He will, however, be sticking with defense once he gets to Gainesville and should turn into a fine safety. He has good instincts for the position and plays well both deep and when being forced to cover receivers one-on-one.
In contrast to another recent Gators commit – Rhaheim Ledbetter, who runs through ball carriers and receivers – Maye is more of a technical tackler. He keeps focused on his opponent’s mid-section and legs and likes to take them down that way as opposed to blowing them up. Maye goes low a lot to take down ball carriers and while he usually succeeds at the high school level, it is something he will have to be careful with in college. More athletic offensive players can exploit that with a well-timed move (or even hurdle). Maye’s smarts for the game and technical skills at the position should help him though and allow him to remain as close to a sure thing as possible when it comes to bringing down opponents.
Maye has a good sense of where the ball is going and has the ability to read the quarterback. You do not see many high school quarterbacks go through progressions so it can be considered by some to be easier for a defensive back to know where the pass is headed, but it is still nice to see a player of Maye’s age step in front of passes or be in the perfect position to make an interception. What it shows is his focus on the quarterback as well as the receiver. While he may not have to go up against many passers surveying all areas of the field, he is able to lock into the quarterback and position himself well.
Over his career, Maye will be a pleasure to watch because of his potential to improve and his ability to do so. He is a better-than-average player now that deserves his various rankings, but he has so much more room to grow. As Justin Wells of 247Sports points out, once Maye gets to Florida and can put all of his attention to football (assuming he does not attempt to make a go at something else as well), he could become something special. And oh yeah, there is always that recruiting thing. The Gators coaching staff will do their best to keep Maye through signing day and he will do his best to add to Florida’s class.