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Lumberjacks: Frank Mays signs free agent contract with Philadelphia Eagles

Frank Mays (No. 90) battled through an attempted block. Mays, a defensive end from Florida A&M who played his high school ball in Bemidji, has signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Photo courtesy of Florida A&M

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Former Bemidji Lumberjack football player Frank Mays signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this week and his college coach would not be surprised if he becomes a permanent fixture in the Eagles' lineup on Sunday afternoons.

"You are going to be very excited about Frank in the next few years because he's going to do great things," predicted Florida A&M coach Earl Holmes. "Frank is 6-9 and 320 pounds. He is a very hard worker and his football IQ is very high. Frank has been given an opportunity and I think he will make the best of it and will make the team."

Mays is a 2010 Bemidji High School graduate and spent two years at Central Lakes Community College in Brainerd before transferring to Florida A&M. Last year as a defensive end Mays had 30 solo tackles and 17 assisted stops in 11 games for the Rattlers. He also was second on the defense with 10.5 tackles for loss and he tied for first on the club with four sacks.

When Mays arrived at Florida A&M Holmes immediately noticed his lineman's athletic ability but what especially impressed the coach was his continued improvement.

"With a body frame like he has, Frank is very athletic but when he got to A&M his game was a little raw," Holmes said. "But Frank worked hard and continued to get better. Every day He put his hard hat on and never complained.

"A coach has to be happy when a kid comes in with an empty mind and wants to fill it with knowledge," Holmes said, adding that he is proud that Mays will leave Florida A&M with a degree. "(A positive) attitude like that is what it is all about and Frank has that attitude. Frank is a big guy who can move but he still has so much to learn."

And Holmes believes that Mays will continue to develop.

"Sometimes people get caught up with the draft pick but (the key) is to get the best available athlete and then develop that athlete," Holmes said. "A coach can't take a player where he won't take himself and Frank always wanted to get better. And I think his best football is still ahead of him."

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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