DUBLIN, OHIO — Cabell Midland rising junior defensive end Reese Donahue and Nicholas County rising senior linebacker/running back Wil Mayes were a couple of instate players who took part in the national Top Gun football camp last week run by Football University.
Mayes, meanwhile, was also grouped with another instate player through linebacker drills in Oak Hill’s Jacob Lafferty. Those two were mentored at the Top Gun camp by former Texas A&M All-American linebacker Quentin Coryatt.
“It was crazy, the competition was fast, but it was a good confidence boost to know that I could play or compete at the next level,” Mayes said. “We also had a classroom study, which was outstanding. We learned a lot about coverages and more technique on pass rushing.”
Mayes last year rushed for around 1,200 and 18 touchdowns last year with Nicholas County as the Grizzlies made it to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs. He has D-II recruiting interest so far from a couple of instate schools as he heads into his senior campaign.
“I’m definitely a physical back,” Mayes said. “I went to the camps to compete and was trying to get some exposure and to show that I can play at the next level. I feel like I can compete at that level, it was a good confidence boost. I definitely want to play football in college.”
Mayes’ 7-on-7 team at the Top Gun camp made it to the championship game.
For Donahue, the rising junior earned an invite to the U.S. Army National Combine after he was named the 2016 class MVP for the defensive line at Top Gun.
“Getting invited to the combine was pretty awesome,” Donahue said. “I was with the juniors and we were going against the offensive line – they called me up against the seniors for a little bit and I had a chance to go up against one guy who is rated as the second best offensive tackle in the nation who is deciding between Auburn and Florida State. I really surprised myself and actually got around him a couple of times.”
His coaches and mentors at Top Gun included former NFL player and coach Tim Krumrie, along with former Texas A&M player and Seattle Seahawks coach Zerick Rollins.
Donahue first earned the invite to Top Gun after initially earning the overall MVP from a regional FBU camp earlier this month.
“I went into it thinking I’m going to go learn something and apply my skills coming into this season,” he said.
His role with Cabell Midland, meanwhile, is anticipated to increase this upcoming year for the Knights after rotating in along the defensive line a season ago as a sophomore.
“I’m working to be a team captain,” Donahue said. “I want to be a leader and I want to be somebody that my teammates can look up to. My teammates are pushing me and I’m pushing them – they’re great and we’re trying to make each other better, we’re very competitive.”
As for Donahue’s aspirations when he eventually graduates in 2016?
“I’m going to let football carry me as far as it will,” he said. “If the opportunity comes up where I can play Division I football, I’ll definitely take it. If it’s a level lower than that, it doesn’t matter – I want to get a scholarship and have a free education.”
Donahue will participate in the U.S. Army National Combine January 2nd through the 4th in 2015.