Studying For Bar Mitzvah Aids Football Player

Some of what makes Taylor Mays a precociously talented safety for USC can be traced back to when he was 13.

There were months of intense study. Repetitive practice. And memorization of every nuance of his responsibilities. Mays was preparing for his bar mitzvah.

The experience of reading from the Torah shaped him in ways he did not anticipate, ways that have helped him thrive as a person and an athlete.

“I don’t think at the time I really understood what that meant,” Mays said of the ceremony that is a Jewish rite of passage into adulthood. “Now, looking back on it, I feel like I have come a long way in regard to maturity and becoming an adult.

“I think that helped me do it.”

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