PARK HILLS, Ky. — Toward the end of a 7-on-7 passing scrimmage at Covington Catholic last week, Winton Woods assistant football coach Dan Scholz yelled over to the sideline.
“I will text you a tip,” Scholz deadpanned. “Their tight end is really good.”
Scholz was referring to Colonels tight end and University of Notre Dame commit Michael Mayer.
“He’s special,” Winton Woods coach Andre Parker said. “He’s a large human being who can really move.”
Those who follow Northern Kentucky football certainly know that. The nation will soon realize it, too. Mayer, who is 6 feet 5 and 240 pounds, has a work ethic beyond measure, according to his CovCath coaches.
“He is the greatest athlete in the history of the school, bar none,” said CovCath assistant basketball coach Joe Fredrick.
Mayer, also a basketball standout, won’t play hoops this winter because he will graduate early in December and enroll at Notre Dame in January. He is also committed to the 2020 All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
Fredrick is convinced Mayer would win Kentucky Mr. Basketball this winter if he decided to play.
“Guys like Mike don’t come around very often, and when they do, you have to really appreciate what they do,” CovCath head basketball coach Scott Ruthsatz said.
As the football team prepares for its season opener on Aug. 23 against visiting Ryle, CovCath is hungry to return to the state final after being the Class 5A runner-up in 2018.
“I think the vibe is finish,” Mayer said. “Obviously last year we didn’t finish. State championship — we weren’t ready and we got our butt kicked.”
CovCath football coach Eddie Eviston praised the poise his standout has exhibited this summer.
“He’s been a big part of our culture and what we do,” Eviston said. “A culture of working hard and doing things the right way breeds success.”
Mayer will continue to play middle linebacker this fall. Offensively, his route-running, footwork and blocking have improved. He also has become more of a leader.
In short, he’s the total package. Enough so that Fredrick thinks Mayer could jump to the NFL out of high school if the rules allowed such a move.
“His work ethic is second to none,” said Fredrick, a former Notre Dame basketball standout. “He is laser focused on his goals.”
Mayer, 18, is looking forward to arriving at South Bend this winter. It was Fredrick who helped recommend him to Notre Dame defensive backs coach Todd Lyght in 2017.
For now, though, Mayer is focused on the present and helping the Colonels win another state football title in early December. CovCath is rated the top team in Kentucky this preseason, according to MaxPreps.
“All three years of football have been awesome,” Mayer said. “Obviously this is my last year. It really hasn’t hit me yet. This is my last summer out here with the coaches and my teammates and everything. I am just trying to enjoy it as much as it lasts.”
Mayer, whose older brother AJ is a quarterback at Miami University, says CovCath has represented so much to his family. Michael Mayer won state titles in football (2017) and basketball (2018) entering this school year.
He wants to complete his high school career with one more in the community that has been so special in his life.
“It means so much to me,” Mayer said. “You know, the school has actually been through a lot the past year, year and a half. The football program means a lot to the school. I feel like I have put my heart and soul into this football field, and I feel like the coaches and the school have given it to me in return, and I am just excited for my senior season.”