Rueben Mayes

Rueben Mayes
No. 36
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born: (1963-06-06) June 6, 1963
North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada
Career information
College: Washington State
NFL Draft: 1986 / Round: 3 / Pick: 57
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards: 3,484
Yards per carry: 4.0
Rushing touchdowns: 23
Player stats at

Rueben Mayes (born June 6, 1963) is a former American football running back from Canada who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) from 1986 to 1993. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame for his contributions while playing for the Washington State Cougars football team.

Early life and high school

He first gained notoriety as a running back at North Battleford Comprehensive High School in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. In 1980 Mayes led the NBCHS Vikings to an undefeated season and the SHSAA 3A Provincial Football championship. In 1981, he set a provincial record in the 100 metre race at the SHSAA provincial track and field championship that still stands.

College career

Mayes played for the Washington State University Cougars, where he was recognized as a consensus All-American and finished tenth in the Heisman Trophy race. Mayes set single-season and career-rushing records (1,632; 3,519 yards) with the Cougars, and established an NCAA record for most rushing yards in one game (357 vs. Oregon in 1984). That was the Pacific-10 Conference record until being broken by Ka'Deem Carey in 2012.

In 1995, a panel of experts commissioned by The Spokesman-Review named Mayes to the all-time WSU team. The honor was repeated in 1998 by when it picked its list of the school's all-time greatest players. On May 1, 2008 he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. In August 2017, a group of panelists commissioned by the Pac-12 Network picked the 12 greatest Washington State players [1] of all time and Mayes ranked No. 1.

Professional career

He was drafted in the third round of the 1986 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He proceeded to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award that year from the Associated Press. Although his NFL career was hampered by injuries, he was named to the Pro Bowl twice. Mayes played five seasons with the Saints before being traded to the Seattle Seahawks for the final two years of his career.

Later life

After football, Mayes became active in efforts to better educate at-risk youth. He would later earn a master's degree and return to Washington State University as an administrator. He is now the regional director of development for Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Oregon,[2] where he lives with his wife Marie and his two sons Kellen and Logan Mayes. His son Logan was a three-star recruited linebacker at Marist Catholic High School in Eugene Oregon. He committed to play at Washington State University, following his father's footsteps.[3] He is one of the only five Saskatchewan natives to make it to the NFL, the other four being Arnie Weinmeister, Jon Ryan, Ben Heenan and Brett Jones. Mayes was the subject of a 1989 documentary film, The Saint from North Battleford, directed by Selwyn Jacob.[4]


Year Team GP Att Yds Avg Long Rush TD Rec Yds Avg Long Rec TD
1986New Orleans Saints1628613534.750817965.6180
1987New Orleans Saints122439173.838515684.5160
1988New Orleans Saints161706283.7213111039.4250
1990New Orleans Saints151385103.71871212110.1660
1991New Orleans Saints0----------
1992Seattle Seahawks1628742.61402136.570
1993Seattle Seahawks1122.020-----
Career Totals 7686634844.05023574017.0660
  • Stats that are highlighted show career high


  1. "Pac-12 Network unveils picks for 12 greatest Washington State football players of all time". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  2. Forde, Pat (2009-11-17). "Dash of forgiveness and fallen powers". Archived from the original on 2009-11-20. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  3. "Future Coug Mayes Stands Alone". Archived from the original on 2010-12-27. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  4. McRae, Ricardo (19 January 2011). "Selwyn Jacob". Who's Who in Black Canada. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
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