Rufus Mayes

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Rufus Mayes
No. 71, 77
Position: Tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1947-12-05)December 5, 1947
Place of birth: Memphis, Tennessee
Date of death: January 1, 1990(1990-01-01) (aged 42)
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
College: Ohio State
NFL Draft: 1969 / Round: 1 / Pick: 14
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Games Played: 139
Games Started: 98
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Rufus Lee Mayes (December 5, 1947 – January 1, 1990) was an American football offensive lineman in the National Football League for the Chicago Bears, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Early life[edit]

Mayes grew up in Toledo, Ohio, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt Mayes, who also had three daughters.[1] He attended Toledo Macomber High School in Toledo, where he led the team to the 1964 City League championship.

College career[edit]

Mayes attended The Ohio State University and was a starting lineman for all 28 games he played for the Ohio State Buckeyes. His first two years, he was a tight end. After the Buckeyes had records of 4-5 and 6-3, respectively, in his first two-season, in his senior year he was switched to offensive tackle. The Buckeyes went 10-0, won the Big 10 championship, defeated the University of Southern California in the 1969 Rose Bowl and were named national champions.[2]

Following his senior season, Mayes was named Second-Team All-American by the Associated Press.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Mayes was selected in the first round (14th overall) of the 1969 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, for whom he played one season and 13 games.[4]

In January 1970, he was traded by the Bears to the Cincinnati Bengals in return for defensive lineman Bill Staley and Harry Gunner.[5] In 2004, the Chicago Tribune rated the trade of Mayes by the Bears to the Bengals the sixth-worst in Bears history.[6]

Mayes' first season with the Bengals, 1970, was the Bengals' first in the NFL following the NFL/AFL merger. He proceeded to become a perennial starter at offensive left tackle for eight seasons with the Bengals. During his eight-year Bengals career, Mayes started 98 of the 110 games he played.

He played out his option and became a free agent. In June 1978, he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles,[7] for whom he played his final NFL season. As a backup, he played in all 16 games.[8][9]

Personal life[edit]

After football, Mayes was a marketing representative for Hewlett-Packard in Bellevue, Washington and resided in Redmond, Washington with his wife, Aishah, and son, Taysir.[10]

In 1994, he was inducted into the Ohio State Men's Varsity "O" Hall of Fame[11]

Rufus Mayes died on January 1, 1990 at age 42 of bacterial meningitis. His coach at Macomber High School, Steve Waite, called Mayes "a great guy, a very bright, very concerned, happy, easy to get along with type of guy."[12]