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Chris Mayes, No. 97, runs through drills with other defensive linemen during practice. The UTC Mocs held their first pre-season practice at Scrappy Moore Field last week.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga defensive tackle Chris Mayes -- the 6-foot-3, 300-pound Navy transfer -- sat down with the Times Free Press to answer 10 questions. Charismatic, thoughtful and quick to laugh, Mayes offered some very good responses. Here are the seven most interesting:

1. What's the most memorable moment of your athletic career?

"I would have to say high school, my senior year, when we played against Blackman I recovered a fumble in the end zone for our team's only touchdown. It was a pretty memorable game, and it was my only touchdown."

2. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

"Hopefully I'm playing in the NFL or maybe another professional football league. If not, then hopefully I'm pretty far along in my career. Right now I'm majoring in sports administration and minoring in business, so I'd like to stay around sports if I don't go into coaching."

3. What skill do you have that a lot of people don't know about?

"I'm actually a pretty good singer. I've sung since I could talk, and I love gospel music, R&B and old-school stuff. Whenever we go out and do karaoke with the guys, people always want me to do 'Nice and Slow' by Usher. I don't really need the words for that one anymore."

4. If you could have only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

"My mom's pork chops with macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes and green beans. She grills them on the George Foreman, and me and my brother can both eat about five. When I see those pork chops sitting out, thawing out, I know I'm home."

5. What part of playing college football has been the biggest surprise?

"Just all of the time that you have to put into it. You almost put in the same amount of time as a professional athlete, but you're also a student. The commitment that you have to put into it -- I know a lot of people really don't understand what we put into it per day. Regardless of what sport you're playing -- football, basketball, volleyball -- we're all putting in a lot of time."

6. If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be?

"If I could be anybody, I would be the person that just hit the big lotto [in April]. That's who I'd be."

7. If you had to be stranded on a desert island with two teammates, who would they be and why?

"I would say Kenny Huitt and Gunner Miller. Kenny's going to keep you laughing the entire time. Kenny, he can make any situation funny. He can be getting yelled at in practice and he'll say something that's just hilarious. And I pick Gunner because he's my bro. We just clicked really good right when I got here."

Contact John Frierson at jfrierson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.

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