This past month I was able to meet former Concord center Rustin Mayorga at the 2015 BSN National Scouting Combine. He made quite an impression on me, coming off as humble and incredibly well-spoken. Mayorga left quite a mark as a Mountain Lion:
2013 First Team All-MEC
2014 First Team All-MEC
2014 BSN First Team All-Region
2014 BSN First Team All-American
Mayorga led a Concord offensive line that helped pave the way for the Mountain East Conference’s top offense (6,677 yards, 68 TD, 476 yards per game). Concord had the second best rushing attack (2,818 yards, 201 yards per game, 33 touchdowns) and third best passing attack (275 yards per game). They also led the conference in total passing yards (3,857).
I had a chance to catch up with the San Francisco native and find out about his football journey.
What got you interested in the game early on?
RM: I would say the physicality of Football and the fact that my friends tried out for our High school football team.
Any other sports you played growing up?
RM: I was raised in a baseball community and played that my entire life and into college. I also wrestled growing up and continued on into high school.
When did you realize you had a real talent for football?
RM: I realized I had some talent when I was going into my senior year of High school. I had several top Junior Colleges contact me and a few Universities that were interested in my talents.
What was your experience like in high school?
RM: I was well known in high school. I never thought of myself as the big man on campus. I hung out with my friends and usually was the quiet one in the group.
RM: After redshirting at the College of San Mateo at linebacker. I still had the itch to play baseball. I was recruited by a few of the top community colleges to play baseball and my good friend was playing there and had a lot of success. So I decided to join him at Skyline College and give it a shot. I had a pretty good year on a personal note even though the team I was on did not meet the preseason hype. After the season All my friends where transferring out and I was not to excited about being on a team that was struggling. So I told myself I need to stick to a sport and commit so I transferred to Foothill College and never look back. I was MVP of Foothill and Team Captain. Unfortunately my D1 clock was up. So I had to go D2.
After talking to several D2 schools I realized Concord had something special going for them and I wanted to be a part of that, which ended up being true. We ended up top 4 four in country, winning our conference and region.
What was the transition like going from high school to college? Biggest struggle?
RM: Looking back now I would say the biggest struggle was my maturity. Mentally I was still young and didn’t fully understand what it took to be the best and the preparation that came with playing at a high level. After a year at College of San Mateo it opened my eyes that there’s a lot more too football than just lining up and flying around and making plays. Outside of football I would say outsiders distracted me from my goals and dreams. A lot of people wanted to hang out and go out. But they weren’t on the same path as me and it took me my redshirt year to realize that. Now, nothing can distract me.
Was it hard fighting for playing time? Did you have to become good at a few positions to prove your worth or were you able to stick to the offensive line?
RM: I had to learn how to play center literally a month before the season started. I told myself once I understand what I am doing no one was going to take what was mine. I didn’t care who I was competing with. I was not going to sit on the bench. So after the first game of the year I won the starting spot and never looked back.
RM: I was very proud that I was recognized as the best center in Division 2. I was happy to bring award to Concord University. I couldn’t have done it without my brothers on the offensive line and my entire team.
I am not too big on personal accolades. But I am very proud that I was a part of the 2015 Mountain East Conference Championship Team and the Super Region 1 team Championship team. It was a testament to all the hard work that the team put in to make it that far.
What was the legacy you wanted to leave at Concord?
RM: I wanted to be remembered as a great teammate and someone who would leave Concord University at a better place and someone who worked hard and who my teammates can count on no matter what.
I was able to meet you at College Park. You hadn’t had any combine experience, yet you looked sharp and very coachable. Walk us through the experience. What did you expect? What were you most worried about?
RM: My strength at the Combine was my 225 bench press and my 40 as well as my one-on-one drills at center.
I wasn’t too worried about much because the work I put in prior to the BSN Combine. But I had concerns when I had to play center- just for the fact last time I played center I was weighting 285 and heading into combine was weighting 253. So I was worried that I wasn’t in the right condition to perform high at center since I was training for routes and speed. But when it was time to get after it at center, weight didn’t matter too much. The guy next to me wasn’t going to beat me.
I had a great experience. I got to compete against D1 players and players who have been in the NFL, CFL and the AFL. So I was able to see where I stand as a football player and got to give myself a personal evaluation on where I stand at the next level.
What do you feel separates you from other players? I remember discussing you playing fullback possibly.
RM: A big thing I would say is my work ethic. Every day I find ways to get better. I don’t let anyone outwork me. Another thing is my physicality, I always tell myself that I will be the most physical guy on the field while being technically sound. Last but not least my mental preparation for the game and the way I practice. I believe winning games and having success starts with film and the way you practice Monday though Friday.
Right now I’m trying to play fullback at the next level. Just because my athletic ability and size matches well for fullback. But that doesn’t mean I won’t play center. Just trying to be open to what an organization would view me as.
How was your interaction with the staff, coaches and CFL scouts?
RM: Interaction from staff was great. Very helpful through the entire process and approachable. Also I was approached by CFL scouts who were impressed with my Combine numbers and drills. We also talked for a little about what I had planned for the future, my goals and where I see myself in a few months.
And what does that future look like for you?
RM: Just trying to make it on a professional organization, and make a run at the next level for as long as I can.