Georgia transfer Cade Mays is officially a Tennessee Volunteer.
Tennessee announced the addition of Mays to their roster on Twitter Thursday afternoon saying, “Welcome #HomeSweetHome, Cade.” Jeremy Pruitt also welcomed Mays to the program on social media, tweeting out, “Welcome to Rocky Top! #PoweredByTheT.”
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) January 9, 2020
— Jeremy Pruitt (@CoachJPruitt) January 9, 2020
Georgia entered Mays into the NCAA transfer portal on Wednesday. Shortly after Matt Zenitz of AL.com broke the news of Mays entering the portal, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach reported that the Knoxville native intended on staying in the SEC East by transferring to Tennessee.
Mays joins his little brother, Cooper, on campus for the spring semester. Cooper Mays signed with the Vols during the early signing period as a four-star center out of Knoxville Catholic High School. Cade Mays played at Knoxville Catholic as well, but signed with the Bulldogs out of high school following the firing of Butch Jones. Mays was once committed to the Vols but decommitted prior to Jones’ firing.
Cade Mays was ranked the No. 22 overall player in the class of 2018 according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He was considered the No. 1 player in the state of Tennessee and the No. 3 offensive tackle in the country.
At Georgia, Mays started six games at right guard, two at right tackle, two at left guard, and one at left tackle as a sophomore this past season, and he even played at center in the Bulldogs’ match-up with Missouri. Mays played in all 14 games this season after playing in 11 of 14 games as a true freshman a season ago. He was named to the coaches’ All-SEC Freshman team in 2018 and was a Freshman All-American as well.
Cade and Cooper’s father, Kevin Mays, played for Tennessee from 1991-1994. He was an All-SEC guard and offensive captain in 1994.
The waiting game as to whether Cade Mays will be eligible for the 2020 season now begins. Usually, players transferring within the conference must sit out a season due to transfer rules, but this particular situation isn’t a normal one.
The Mays family is suing Georgia and a chair manufacturing company after Kevin Mays’ pinky finger had to be amputated following an incident at an UGA athletic event. This could potentially affect Cade Mays’ ability to gain immediate eligibility in a positive way. Tom Mars, who is serving as the families’ lawyer, feels confident that Cade Mays will be able to play right away.
“I can go on the record saying that I’m Cade’s lawyer and that, based on my investigation of the facts and circumstances, I’m confident Cade won’t have to sit out a year after he transfers,” Mars told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Earlier Thursday afternoon, Vols All-SEC First Team offensive lineman Trey Smith announced that he would be returning to Knoxville for his senior season rather than entering his name into the NFL Draft. With the addition of Cade Mays, Tennessee now has one of the better offensive lines in the SEC, assuming Mays can get eligible for the upcoming 2020 season.