Greg Mailey: "I wanted to be a part of something bigger"

December 7, 2017
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2018 Hudson (Ohio) wide receiver Greg Mailey‍ committed to Notre Dame as a preferred walk-on Wednesday afternoon, but it had been something in work for over 10 years. 

Mailey’s second cousin, Kevin Mailey, graduated from Notre Dame in 1974 but also was a member of the 1973 National Championship team, who beat Bear Bryant’s Alabama team. 

The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder had been going to Notre Dame games since he was around six years old, so his decision was relatively easy. 

“I’ve always been a Notre Dame fan,” Mailey told Irish Sports Daily. “I have a Shamrock Series helmet Fathead on my wall and a bunch of posters.” 

Mailey wasn’t without options as he held six scholarship offers and an offer to be a preferred walk-on at in-state Ohio State. But, it was the preferred walk-on offer from the Buckeyes that got Mailey interested in the idea of walking on at Note Dame. 

“When I got the Ohio State preferred walk-on offer, it got me thinking about Notre Dame,” explained Mailey. “I found an email address and reached out. I came down for a visit four weeks into the season, and it ended up working out recently.”  

While he grew up an Irish fan, Mailey did visit Columbus and had ties to the Buckeye program. 

“It was tough to turn down,” Mailey stated. “It was a great opportunity to be a part of a program like that. We actually had a linebacker from my high school take a preferred walk-on spot at Ohio State last year, and he likes it down there.

“I knew if it came down to Notre Dame and Ohio State that I definitely wanted to come to Notre Dame.” 

Irish Sports Daily
Greg Mailey

The chance to take a scholarship was something Mailey weighed in his decision-making process, but the ability to be part of something bigger than himself was a major sticking point. 

“It’s definitely two different things,” said Mailey. “I felt I wanted to be a part of something bigger. Notre Dame is that place. It might be a smaller role at Notre Dame, but it would be a greater outcome than a bigger role at a smaller school.”

On Mailey's visit to Notre Dame this fall he was able to see and confirm everything he needed to know to make his decision.

“The tradition and everything there – it’s a great school too,” Mailey said. “There is just a certain feel at Notre Dame. You feel like everything is family and everyone is nice to you. Everyone cares about you at Notre Dame. 

“I felt at home at Notre Dame.” 

The Hudson standout feels he is good at getting in and out of his breaks and has the hands to play at this level, but Mailey knows his future will depend on his effort. 

“I don’t take reps or plays off, and I think that’s a big part of being a walk-on,” said Mailey. “You can’t take reps off if you want to achieve the goals you want to achieve.” 

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