Just about every Vol fan is familiar with Cade Mays. He’s a five-star offensive tackle from Knoxville and the son of Kevin Mays, a former Tennessee football player. He committed to the Volunteers back in the summer of 2015 and stayed pledged to Tennessee for two-plus years.
He has all the makings of a “can’t miss” prospect, and it looked to be a sure thing that he would sign with Tennessee.
However, as Tennessee continued to lose games on the field, they lost the interest of Mays. First, he took a few unofficial visits to other schools. Then in November of this past year as Butch Jones’ status became increasingly murky, he decommitted. During the early signing period, he signed with the Georgia Bulldogs, one of the Vols’ biggest rivals. And now fans are split on how they feel about how his recruitment played out.
While fans may still be upset about how that all played, it’s time to move on. The blame falls largely on the old coaching staff and the culture they created, and that staff is gone. Jeremy Pruitt and his coaches appear to be intent on changing that direction, and they’ve done an excellent job recruiting so far.
While it may be time to move on from Cade Mays, he does have a younger brother. And his younger brother is a talented player as well. Cooper Mays is an offensive lineman in the 2020 class, and he tweeted that he is “blessed” to have received a “re-offer” from Tennessee’s new coaches.
Blessed to have my offer reaffirmed by the new coaching staff at the University of Tennessee! pic.twitter.com/Ix7H1g0EFc
— Cooper Mays (@CooperMays) January 27, 2018
The younger Mays is 6-foot-2, 236 pounds. He will likely add quite a bit more weight to his frame as he ages, however. Like his brother, he plays for Knoxville Catholic. He holds offers from Georgia and Ohio State to go along with his Tennessee offer. While he is not yet ranked, he is expected to be one of the better linemen in the state of Tennessee. It’s unlikely, however, he will reach the same level as his brother.
On film, Mays is an elite lineman. He is athletic and blocks really well in space. He is incredibly aggressive, but he still plays under control. His footwork is excellent, and he is very strong. Mays’ biggest strength is his ability to run block. He’s a real bulldozer, and he can be seen racking up pancakes on his highlight film. His football IQ is very high, and he demonstrates that on several pass sets where there is no defender that rushes his assignment yet he finds work, helping a teammate with his block. Sometimes, he gets off balance when he blocks, getting on too far on his toes instead of keeping his heels in the ground. His hand placement is off at times, as he doesn’t always get them inside the frame of the defender. Both of these issues are very coachabl, and easily correctable, though. My biggest concern right now is his size. If he doesn’t get bigger, he can’t play in the SEC.
When Pruitt took over, he talked about dominating the state of Tennessee in regards to recruiting. Mays is a good prospect right in Tennessee’s backyard in the 2020 class. They can’t afford to have another Mays brother poached from right underneath their nose, so expect this new staff to try and sell the Vols to the younger Mays.