People are always taking notice of Corey Mayfield Jr. on the football field, and not just because he wears the No. 1 jersey.
The Parish Episcopal junior is always on the field — as a receiver, cornerback, kick returner, or whatever else — and he’s usually making big plays.
“Whatever they need me to do, I’ll do it,” said Mayfield, a Preston Hollow resident. “It’s just football.”
Mayfield has made his mark as a cornerback, where he’s already drawn scholarship offers from major college programs such as Minnesota and Texas Tech.
But this season, he’s also emerged as one of the top receivers in the Dallas area in terms of receiving yards and yards per catch. He had a monster game against San Antonio Southside, catching six passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns, and has scored at least once in almost every other game.
It’s that versatility that excited the Parish coaching staff when Mayfield decided to return to the school after spending his sophomore season in the public-school ranks at W.T. White.
“He’s naturally gifted. He’s silky smooth and electric whenever he gets the ball,” said Parish offensive coordinator Daniel Novakov. “He’s always had the ability to play wherever he wants.”
Mayfield has been running around on football fields almost since he could walk. His father, Corey Mayfield Sr., is a former defensive lineman at Oklahoma who played briefly with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars and in professional arena football.
His son was a ball boy or towel boy during those days, but has since blossomed into a standout in his own right — although not at the same position because of a distinct size difference.
“I tried to let him feel his way through,” said Corey Sr., who has been an assistant coach at Parish since 2014. “He’s come a long way from his freshman year until now.”
That includes off the field, where the younger Mayfield said he’s more mature and coachable these days, with an increased focus on academics in addition to his work ethic on the field.
Corey Jr. is one of several two-way players for the Panthers. He saw limited action on offense during his freshman season in 2014, when Parish won a TAPPS state title.
This year, he’s become a focal point for the offense along with dual-threat quarterback Jeremy Hodge, who has verbally committed to New Mexico State. Mayfield has helped replace Xavier Suggs, a former standout receiver for the Panthers who graduated last year.
“He really came along at the right time because we really needed someone to fill that spot,” Novakov said. “He’s a guy who can score anytime he touches [the ball].”