When St. Joseph (MO) Central tight end Tyree Mayfield
committed to Illinois State
last week, he fully understood the significance of his decision.
"Growing up with my parents, they instilled in me that education really is everything," he said, proudly. "Football is just a bonus."
Education has been a top priority throughout the recruiting process for the 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior. He was very impressed with what he saw when he visited the Illinois State campus in Normal.
"When I went to visit them, their academic programs really stuck out to me," he said. "That was really what I wanted to look for in a college. I had an idea of the major I was going to do, either electrical or mechanical engineering. When I went there, I saw what they had to provide. I plan to go to engineering technology. It really spoke to what I want to do."
The Cardinals learned about the St. Joseph Central standout through a local connection with ties to the coaching staff.
"Coach Jake Schoonover, he's actually from around here," he said of the Cardinals assistant. "Our baseball coach let them know about me, because they were roommates in college."
Mayfield's conversations with the Illinois State staff have him excited about his role in the offense. Utilizing a spread attack similar to what he plays in at Central, he believes it to be a perfect fit.
"The way he was describing it to me, it's exactly like what we do," he said with a smile. "The way I took it was more like a tight end that will go out wide, sometimes stay in and block, and sometimes be in the backfield. The tight end does exactly what I did. I thought it could be a pretty easy switch for me."
Head coach Brock Spack and his staff were happy to learn of Mayfield's decision.
"They were all excited. I had let them know on Facebook I was talking it over with my parents. I was thinking about going there. I wasn't going to go to any of the other schools that had offered me, so I might as well commit. They were pretty excited."
With his decision out of the way, the Indians playmaker has been able to focus on on his final season of high school football. Mayfield and his Central teammates open the 2013 campaign this Friday at defending Class 6 State Champion Blue Springs.
"It makes it a lot easier," he said. "Our coach says, everyday, we have to have a championship effort every time. Whenever we go out to practice, he manages it like a game. If we get better, we should be able to get that ring."
Tyree Mayfield knew all along what mattered. The St. Joseph (MO) Central tight end confirmed it when he chose to play college football at Illinois State, largely because of the quality of education available there. Mayfield breaks down his decision with Scout.com.
St. Joseph (MO) Central tight end Tyree Mayfield talks about his decision to play at Illinois State