Brandon Maye feels he has a lot to share in Starkville.
In fact, he has a motto of sorts that he picked up from his mentor, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis: “Knowledge is not to be kept but to be spread.”
Maye will be spreading his knowledge, and his talent, at Mississippi State next season. A three-year starter at linebacker for Clemson, he has signed a financial aid agreement with MSU and comes as a graduate transfer. He should be allowed to play immediately under the NCAA’s post-graduate transfer rule.
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Maye said he’ll work at middle linebacker, but he’s not coming just to play. He’s hoping to make a difference.
“First off, I’m bringing a lot of passion to the game, a lot of experience, because I’ve played for a while,” Maye said. “A lot of great qualities, not just on the field but also in the locker room, helping guys get out into the community, some of the things I’ve been doing for the last four years.”
Being involved in the community is a big deal to Maye, who said he likes to read to children and visit local high schools and middle schools, “establishing myself as a community man.”
Maye, who will graduate from Clemson in May with a sociology degree, will study sports administration at MSU. He was a three-time member of the All-ACC Academic Team.
On the field, Maye has recorded 235 career tackles, including 45 in an injury-shortened 2010 season, when Clemson went 6-7 and lost to USF in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Maye was moved from middle linebacker to weakside linebacker last season, which didn’t sit well with him. When deciding on a new school, Maye was looking for a place where he could vie for a starting job, preferably in the middle.
MSU lost all three starting linebackers from last season, and reserve Michael Hunt recently left the team. The lone linebacker in the 2011 signing class, Benardrick McKinney, is likely headed the junior college route first.
“Brandon has experience playing at the highest level of college football and will bring that knowledge with him to our team,” MSU head coach Dan Mullen said in a statement. “He also knows nothing will be given to him, and he will have to work hard this summer to help us on the field this fall.”
Maye plans to enroll at MSU in June, and then he’ll begin the process of trying to assimilate himself into the linebackers group. Among the other candidates for the middle linebacker role are redshirt freshman Ferlando Bohanna, junior Jamie Jones and junior Brandon Wilson.
While Mullen is going to keep it an open competition, Maye would appear to be the leading candidate right away. He said he’ll be careful not to act that way.
“You make sure you continue to stay yourself, you continue to be Brandon Maye, you continue to have the same qualities,” Maye said. “You don’t come in and try to act like you’re something bigger than what you are. You’ve got to have a real way of humbling yourself.
“You just go in, you help the other guys and hope they embrace you.”
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal