Chris has always loved Michigan football. He remembers being in school in 1997 with maize and blue banners and shirts flying in the halls because of Michigan's perfect season. That's when it really hit him that he wanted to play in that winged helmet. Unfortunately, critics took their tole. Mays never really expressed this dream to anyone in fear of what others would say. After all, he was not as strong as other football players, not as quick as other football players, and not as tall as other football players. But during his sophomore year of high school, he decided that wouldn't be in the way anymore, and he went out for his high school football team as a safety. That is what started this epic journey for one student who is following his dreams.
Mays was first going to attempt to tryout for the team in the final days of Rich Rodriguez. As he tells me, though, they were really only looking for kickers, so it wasn't exactly his fit or best shot to make the team. His real first chance came January 31, 2012. But the try-out did not end well for Mays.
"I felt like I did really well and made some improvement, but, unfortunately, it wasn't enough."
That would have probably sent most packing in the other direction, either thinking they gave it their all and were happy at that, or that they had been cheated. Chris Mays felt neither of those. He wants to play football for the University of Michigan and won't stop until he wass wearing that winged helmet.
Taking his goals him to his friends, teammates, and coaches in high school was one step, but he has since taken his story to Twitter and Facebook.
Currently, Mays is looking for a second opportunity to tryout. He's been contacting different coaches and players to see what kind of strings can be pulled, and you can't help but wish for the best with this kid. He has such a deep passion for Michigan; he is a Michigan Man.
"I was really shocked at how many people picked up on the story. My twitter account literally went from having under 300 followers to having 2000. The tweets of encouragement that I get from friends and complete strangers is outstanding! I don't go a day without reading some encouraging tweets and replying back. That's what keeps me going. People sharing stories saying that I am an inspiration and I didn't even know it. I still don't feel it, it's incredible. I've never gotten this much encouragement from family, friends, peers and strangers like this ever!"
You can help support Chris Mays and his dream to play in the Big House by using the hashtag on Twitter: make Chris Mays a Victor (#VictorsProject) or following him on Twitter: @imchrismays. Words of encouragement on either Twitter of Facebook is always greatly appreciated by the aspiring athlete, so be sure to help a true Wolverine!