Brandon Maye graduates with honors this spring at Clemson. The linebacker opted to transfer back in January and will spend his senior season playing at Mississippi State.
"I told coach (Dan) Mullen and he was ready to run outside and do some backflips " Maye told Rivals.com early Monday evening. "He said that's like getting a big-time trade in the NFL."
The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder spoke at length about his decision, as first-reported by BulldogBlitz.com.
"Mississippi State has a great sports administration program," Maye said. "Clemson didn't offer that. I had some personnel issues back home so I get to be closer to my family. So it worked out in both ways. That's the real reason I chose to transfer."
The Mobile (Ala.) native chose the Bulldogs over an option at Kentucky. Middle Tennessee State, Illinois. Auburn and Texas A&M also showed interest.
"Coach Mullen wants me to come in and compete for a starting job at MIKE linebacker," Maye said. "For me to work hard and the opportunity will come with it. That's the big thing in life because nothing is ever given to you."
The linebacker will enroll as a graduate student from Clemson on May 13 and roll in Starkville on June 1.
Maye started three seasons at Clemson. In his redshirt freshman season, he recorded 87 tackles and five for loss.
As a sophomore, Maye had 103 tackles and last fall, as a junior, he had 43 tackles and three tackles for loss while missing four games with a variety of injures.
"He is a hard-working and dedicated," former teammate at Clemson, DeAndre McDaniel, said. "He's lights out on the field. He's a good person on and off the field. A player you want on your team because of his love for the game."
Maye will never forget his time in the orange and white and looks back at his Clemson career with nothing but fond memories.
"Just coming up to the stadium and seeing all of the support from those great fans win, lose or draw," Maye said. "Playing at Miami two years ago. That's a game I've never forget. Meeting so many great men and so many great players who were even better men like Andre Branch, Gaines Adams, Anthony Waters, Jacoby Ford and DeAndre McDaniel and so many others. My teammates were always there for me through blood and tears. I will always remember those tough workouts. I was around so many great people, fans and teammates. Thank god they accepted me as a teammate and a leader. They were very supportive to me and I want to thank coach (Dabo) Swinney and his staff for developing me as a player and as a man. And to thank Vickery Hall for helping me achieve so many goals. I would encourage people to go there. That will always be my alma mater."