Mayes hopes to make impact for Mocs - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Mayes hopes to make impact for Mocs

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Defensive tackle Chris Mayes hopes to make an immediate impact for the Mocs this fall after sitting out the 2011 season. Defensive tackle Chris Mayes hopes to make an immediate impact for the Mocs this fall after sitting out the 2011 season.

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Chris Mayes doesn't rumble.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 295 pounds, one would think that term would be an adequate way to describe his running style.

But the rising sophomore defensive tackle proved otherwise when he scooped up a fumble and ran away from the offense for a 55-yard touchdown in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's second spring scrimmage last Saturday.

"It was great to have that moment because we were going hard just like it was a real game," Mayes said before Monday's practice. "I got to show everybody how fast I am, because a lot of people didn't know that I could move like that."

Head coach Russ Huesman acknowledged the play sparked some energy for a defensive unit that struggled at times Saturday, but he was quick to add a playful jab to make sure the spotlight doesn't go to Mayes' head.

"Adam Fuller, our defensive coordinator, was laughing with me because (the media) doesn't want to talk to him if all he does is stay in his gap," Huesman joked. "Now everyone wants to talk to him because he scored a touchdown, but he needs to stay in his gap more."

"But really he is making great strides. He's coming along every day. He's a great kid to have in the program, and he's going to be a great player for us."

Huesman hoped Mayes would be a great player for the Mocs last fall, but the NCAA ruled him ineligible after transferring from Navy. The Murfreesboro native tried to make the most of his time on the scout team by making life miserable in practice for the UTC offensive line, but he's excited to finally have a chance to work with the starting unit and make a difference.

"I worked hard on the scout team last year, but there's nothing like getting back out there with the defense and running plays. Just the energy that comes with being out there with them, there's nothing like it."

Mocs annual Blue-Gold Spring Game set for Saturday
The Mocs' annual Blue-Gold Spring Game is slated for this Saturday at Finley Stadium. The contest will be a part of a full schedule of events that coincide with UTC's year-long 125th Anniversary celebration.

The Lady Mocs' soccer team will open the day with an alumni match at 9 a.m. ET at Finley Stadium, followed by a full squad scrimmage against Bryan College at 10 a.m. ET.

The football program will kick off its annual free kids clinic at noon before the team takes the field for spring game warm-ups at 1:10 p.m. The spring game is slated for a 2 p.m. start.

The day will feature free hot dogs (courtesy of the UTC Mocs Club) and free Coca-Cola products (courtesy of Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Company). Staff will be giving away free seat cushions, koozies and T-shirts throughout the day under the scoreboard, as well.

Huesman will hand out the team's spring awards following the conclusion of the game, as well as name team captains for the upcoming 2012 season.

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