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USC’s Jewish football star falls far in NFL Draft

by Brad A. Greenberg

April 25, 2010 | 2:35 am

Poor Taylor Mays. The standout safety from USC whose combination of size and speed wasn’t only unparalleled because he is Jewish, had been projected as a top-15 pick in last seasons’ NFL Draft. But at Pete Carroll’s advice, Mays returned for his senior season.

And during this weekend’s draft he learned what many Angelenos already knew: You can’t trust Carroll:

So when pick after pick was announced and his name wasn’t being called, Mays sat in front of the television, stunned, and he started to blame Carroll for his plight.

“He is someone I’ve trusted for a long time, been very close to,” Mays said Friday. “I put my future in his hands when he told me to come back to school. I just feel like we weren’t on the same page for what I needed to do to get drafted where I wanted to be drafted.”

Mays says all year he had continually asked Carroll what he needed to do to get better, what deficiencies he needed to correct to prove to scouts that he was the brightest, fastest, most physical safety in the country; to maintain the lofty status he had achieved the year before.

“[Pete] kept saying, ‘Taylor, you’ll be fine. You’re fine,’ ” Mays said. “Obviously that wasn’t the case.”

To be fair, it’s difficult to believe Carroll is quite as responsible for Mays’ dropping stock as he makes his former coach, now the head coach and president of the Seattle Seahawks, out to be. The Draft is an unpredictable affair. Just ask Jimmy Clausen.

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