OWASSO — Duece Mayberry knows he has a secret weapon whenever he needs to use it.
The senior cornerback has several NCAA Division I offers, and is committed to Kansas, now led by former Oklahoma State coach Les Miles.
Miles already has a Mayberry on his roster — Kyle, Duece’s older brother. Kyle enters his final year as a corner for the Jayhawks.
Mayberry said he has soaked up a great deal of knowledge from Kyle, a Booker T. Washington graduate.
“He impacted a lot,” Duece said. “Coaches recruited Kyle. He had 20-some offers when he came out of high school. Almost every coach remembers him.”
The Mayberry brothers occasionally work out together. Duece said he regularly tries to pick Kyle’s brain about football. The topics of their conversations vary from recruiting to learning the nuances of the position.
“He teaches me new things that, honestly, high school players wouldn’t know,” Mayberry said. “I ask him, I text or call him. If a school is talking to me, I ask him if a school is genuine. He knows if a school is genuine because he’s been through it.”
The 6-footer will enter his senior season as a three-year starter with nine career interceptions. He comes in at No. 2 in the All-World preseason rankings for defensive backs behind Broken Arrow’s Myles Slusher.
The rankings are based on past achievements, projected 2019 performance and college potential. Last summer, Slusher was ranked No. 3 and Mayberry No. 5. Mayberry’s Rams teammate, Dawson Adams, is No. 8 in the rankings for the second summer in a row.
In 2018, Mayberry tied for the team lead with three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. It came in the season opener and helped spur Owasso’s comeback victory over Bentonville (Arkansas) West.
Mayberry, who finished last year with 27 tackles, said his goal as a cornerback is zero.
As in, zero receptions allowed.
“No one should ever catch on me,” Mayberry said. “That’s my mentality. If someone catches one on me, I’m like, ‘That’s a good catch.’ But in my head I’m thinking what I could have done better on that play. Maybe I didn’t stay square enough. Maybe I didn’t get hands on them. Maybe I didn’t squeeze them to the sidelines.”
Owasso coach Bill Blankenship said Mayberry’s size is one of his most enticing attributes at the next level.
“He’s an incredible cover corner,” Blankenship said. “What people in the recruiting business talk about are legitimate 6-foot corners. He’s a legit 6-foot corner.”