Attending Notre Dame from 2001 through 2005, Mays played in 45 and started 11 games as a special teams ace and linebacker. In his senior season Mays started all 11 games at middle linebacker and made 68 total tackles and 4 sacks.
In 2006 Mays entered the NFL as an undrafted, unrestricted free agent. He was signed by the New England Patriots on May 8, 2006 to compete for a spot on the team. Due to his solid showing in both training camp and preseason action, Mays beat out several other players (including a 2006 Patriots 6th round draft pick) for a spot at backup linebacker and special teams contributor. He had memorial moment in a training camp drill when he got in a tussle with the Patriots 2006 first round draft pick Laurence Maroney... In his rookie season he played in eight regular season games mostly on the Patriots special teams coverage units and made 9 tackles. He also played in all three of the Patriots postseason games and had 2 tackles and a forced fumble.
On March 21, 2007, the Patriots resigned Mays to a one-year contract. He was released from the team however on September 1, 2007 in the teams final roster cutdown. After passing through wavers the following day, he was resigned by the Patriots to their practice squad. He was released from the Patriots in late September and signed by the Cincinnati Bengals on October 2.
- Boston Globe, Mike Riess, October 2, 2007, "Mays claimed"