Every time Tennessee gets a commitment in either football or men’s basketball, we will write up an impact report looking at what that recruit does well, what he needs to improve in his game, and what his projected impact with the Vols could be over the next few years.
Latest Commit: Cooper Mays, OL
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 280 pounds
School: Knoxville Catholic (Tennessee)
Home Town: Knoxville, TN
247Sports Composite: No. 317 overall, No. 5 OC
247Sports: No. 308 overall, No. 6 OC
Rivals: 5.9 rating, No. 250 overall, No. 2 OC
Notable Offers: Georgia, Auburn, Florida, LSU
What we like:
If you want a versatile offensive lineman, look no further than Cooper Mays. He primarily played at guard for Catholic last season, but he lined up under center to snap the ball and even at tackle at times. Regardless of where he was, Mays was a standout. He’s extremely aggressive in run blocking, and he consistently plows his man to the ground and continues to block through the echo of the whistle. Effort is not an issue at all with Mays. He moves quickly and has lively feet, and he pulls well to the outside from his guard spot. Mays has solid instincts and is a very cerebral lineman, which translates well to his potential as a center. He looks for contact and mauls defensive linemen regularly. He’s quick enough to catch speed moves and strong enough to hold his ground against bigger players. Mays played most of last season around 250-260 pounds, but he’s already added a lot of good weight since his junior year ended and is close to 280 pounds now. Size shouldn’t be an issue for him moving forward.
Places to improve:
On his highlight film, Mays is mostly at guard and mostly shows off his run blocking. It’s believed he will play center in college, but there aren’t many highlights of him playing center on his film. That could change in his senior year with Catholic, but it would be nice to see more what he can do at that position. He’s visited UT several times and has camped in front of Tennessee’s coaches, so they undoubtedly have seen enough from him to know he can work there, though. I would also like to see more of his pass blocking ability. There isn’t much in the way of pass blocking film on Mays’ highlights. What little pass blocking there is on film does show some good ability there, but it makes you wonder if he’s a little more one-dimensional considering the overwhelming amount of run blocking on his highlight film.
Mays is a lineman who has just continued to get better and better as he’s played, and that figures to remain true. There’s a possibility he could even play along the defensive line, though it’s expected he’ll likely play on offense. Mays offers a ton as an interior lineman, and his dedication to improvement and his road grader mentality should help him see the field early as long as he puts on the necessary good weight. He likely will see the field in his first year if the Vols have a starting spot up for grabs at center or guard.