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Marcus Maye makes it

11/2/2011

MELBOURNE, Fla. -- Melbourne (Fla.) Holy Trinity four-star athlete Marcus Maye doesn't like to talk about individual goals or his individual performances.

But the 6-foot, 190-pounder admitted that being a 2012 Under Armour All-American was an important achievement.

"It's the game I've wanted to be in and when I was at camps or showcases, it was in hopes of this day happening," Maye said. "Watching the game and the great players that have played in the game, it's just a great honor."

Maye faced a ton of doubters during the offseason as many questioned whether the small-school sensation could play with the top talent from the state's larger programs. By the end of the summer Maye had no only proved he could play with the other top players in the state but on many occasions he outshone them.

He was named defensive MVP of the Elite Scouting Services camp in April -- an event that featured ESPNU 150 athletes Nelson Agholor (Tampa, Fla./Berkeley Prep), Tyriq McCord (Tampa, Fla./Jefferson) and Dante Fowler (St. Petersburg, Fla/Lakewood) and ESPNU 150 Watch List member Jayron Kearse (Fort Myers, Fla./Cypress Lake) and Marcell Harris (Groveland, Fla./South Lake).

"Being the MVP of that camp was really a big honor and after that I think people saw me in a different light," Maye added. "It was filled with pretty much every top player in that area and I came from the other side of the state and competed."

Maye spend most of his spring and summer weekends traveling anywhere from Northern Florida for the FSU Nike Football Training Camp to Southern Florida for the Under Armour Miami combine.

And Wednesday made all those miles worthwhile.

"I really can't explain it because it still doesn't seem real," Maye said. "It will probably feel that way before the game begins."

Maye committed to Florida at the end of the summer, choosing the Gators over FSU and Alabama in a heated recruiting battle.

"I really liked Florida all along and while the other schools were nice and they are great programs I felt like Florida was just the right fit for me," Maye said.

Joining Maye in the game are good friends LaTroy Pittman (Citra, Fla./North Marion), another Florida commit, and Agholor, one of the Gators' top targets at receiver.

"I'm really looking forward to playing with LaTroy and Nelson because we've done so many camps together," Maye said. "It's going to be nice to get the pads on and play for real."

Versatility is one of the keys to Maye's success. He has played nearly every position from quarterback to the defensive line for Holy Trinity at one point. In the Under Armour Game, he'll be a linebacker/safety hybrid and Florida is bringing him in as a safety.

"I like defense and safety is probably the best position for me so I'm looking forward to playing for and learning under Coach (Will) Muschamp," Maye said. "But I loved playing different positions here and helping out my team as much as I can."

Maye has been sidelined for all of October with stress reactions in his foot. He's planning on returning to the field Friday as Holy Trinity plays Melbourne Central Catholic in a playoff elimination game.

"I hate not being out there but I've been doing well in rehab and I think I'm going to be ready to go on Friday," Maye said. "Sometimes you have to play in a little pain and help the team get to the playoffs.

"That's what being an All-American is all about."

Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at coreyespn@gmail.com.