Taylor Mays Will Return To USC In 2009

Jan. 13, 2009

USC 2-time All-American first team safety Taylor Mays, a 2008 Thorpe Award finalist, announced today (Jan. 13) that he will return for his 2009 senior season as a Trojan.

'There are a lot more things I want to accomplish as a player, a student and a person, things that I've dreamed about for a long time and that are big goals to me,' said Mays. 'Returning to USC will help me be the best player I can be and put me in the best position possible for the next level.

'It came down to whether I felt I was ready physically and mentally. I feel there are some more things in my game that I can improve upon, things that would help me take the next step. I didn't want to sell myself short.

'Plus, I want to be here for my teammates and provide an example to them as a leader and a player. I love the camaraderie here and the atmosphere. USC is a special place. From all the players I've talked to in the NFL, they say it's a whole different world up there. They enjoyed college more than the NFL. I want to enjoy my last year of fun before it turns into a business.

'I'm also on track to graduate this fall and I know that's a big deal to my parents.

'I'm excited to start working hard toward next season. In fact, I wish I could start playing the 2009 season right now.'

Said USC head coach Pete Carroll: 'We're obviously delighted to learn of Taylor's decision. He and his family did a lot of research and made an educated decision. He embodies all the virtues of staying. He wants to do this not only to improve as a player, but he's coming back for his team, for his school and for the fans. We're looking forward to Taylor having another outstanding season in 2009 and furthering his standing as a player and a person. He's one of the most gifted safeties to ever play at USC and he wants to come back and do it one more time.'

Mays has started the past 3 seasons (2006-08) at free safety for the Trojans, recording 180 tackles and 4 interceptions in his career. He was a consensus All-American first teamer as a junior in 2008 and among 3 finalists for the Thorpe Award as he made 53 tackles and a team-best 9 deflections while helping the Trojans to a 12-1 record, a seventh consecutive Pac-10 title and a third straight win in the Rose Bowl. After earning Freshman All-American first team honors in 2006 when he had 62 tackles and 3 interceptions, he was named an All-American first team pick as a sophomore in 2007 with 65 tackles and 6 deflections

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