UNT recruiting coordinator Mike Grant and defensive line coach Kevin Patrick made the trip to Tyler earlier this year to talk with Tyler JC defensive tackle Motekiai Maile and offered him a scholarship soon after.
There has been a nearly endless run of coaches and programs showing interest in Maile since, several of which have also offered Maile a scholarship.
TCU, SMU, Arizona State, Oklahoma State and Mississippi State have all offered, while USC, Cal and Texas have shown interest in the 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman (here are some highlights).
“It has been crazy to see the interest pick up,” Maile said this week.
Maile finished with five sacks last season and is working to become one of the crown jewels of junior college football recruiting — a defensive tackle who can transfer in at the semester break, participate in spring practice and have two years of eligibility remaining.
Maile said that he is focusing on his academics and wants to graduate in December. He did not qualify academically out of high school and must graduate before he transfers to a Football Bowl Subdivision school.
Maile has Dallas-area connections that could help UNT in the recruiting process. He began his career at Euless Trinity before moving to California for his junior and senior seasons.
“I want to find a school that can help me in the long run and make sure I get a good degree,” Maile said. “I want to major in criminal justice.
“It’s not big to me to play in a bigger conference. If you play well at any school you can make it to the NFL.”
Maile said that he is not in a hurry to make a decision and wants to see what offers come in.
UNT has put itself in good position early in the process with the early connection it has fostered with Maile.
“I have talked to coach Patrick two or three weeks ago,” Maile said. “He came out with coach Grant. I enjoyed talking with those guys. It was fun to watch them go at it telling jokes.”
Mean Green blog recruiting series
CB Taylor Robinson, Keller Central
OL Joseph Gonzales, Waco
OL Matt Hiter, Argyle
LB Jordan Williams, Paris
OL Erik McCoy, Lufkin
OL Riley Daniel, Ringling, Okla.
DL RD Wegmann, Wichita Falls Rider
OL Evan Curl, Flower Mound
ATH Keith Washington, Brazoswood
OL Kaden Jackson, Kingfisher (Okla.)High
LB Angelo Garbutt, Lewisville Hebron
LB Clay Holford, Lewisville Hebron
ATH Billy McCrary, Leander Rouse
QB Chris Riddle, University Christian, Jacksonville, Fla.
CB Nafees Lyon, Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek
DL Carl Thompson, Guyer
OL Beau Hott, Plano
WR Akile Davis, DeSoto
ATH Jonathan Giles, Fort Bend Elkins
OL Clayton Woods, Highland Park
DL Keenan Kelly, Cedar Grove, Ga.