Top Tennessee Star Ruled Out for Music City Bowl

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    With just over 24 hours until Thursday’s Music City Bowl between Tennessee and Purdue, the Vols announced some unfortunate news for the team on Wednesday.

    During his joint press conference with Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm, Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel made the announcement that star offensive lineman Cade Mays will not be playing in the Music City Bowl.

    Mays’ ruling for the Music City Bowl comes off the heels of an injury he has been dealing with. The injury also was enough to hold Mays out of the regular-season finale against Vanderbilt.

    Tennessee senior offensive lineman Cade Mays recently landed on both the AP All-SEC and Coaches All-SEC teams after the regular season. Additionally, according to Pro Football Focus, Mays ranks as the highest-graded Tennessee offensive lineman with more than 15 snaps in the season.

    Two weeks ago, Mays spoke about his future NFL Draft decision while on the Tennessee Prime show.

    “I haven’t made a decision,” Mays said on the Tennessee Prime show about his future. “I’m in the middle, 50/50. But I love this school, I love my teammates. I would love to come back and play another year with my brother, but I’ve got a great opportunity to go fulfill a dream and go play at the next level.”

    With Mays and defensive back Alontae Taylor out for the Music City Bowl, Tennessee will be without two of its marquee players from the season on each side of the ball. However, even with those two players, Tennessee is still looking to be in better shape than Purdue.

    Since the regular-season finale, Purdue has announced that four (and potentially five) of their starters from the season will not play in the Music City Bowl. Purdue has lost their two leading receivers from this season in David Bell and Milton Wright, while DL Georgia Karlaftis and DB Dedrick Mackey will not play in the game either. Bell and Karlaftis will not play after declaring for the NFL Draft, while Mackey and Wright are not in Nashville after reported academic reasons.

    The Music City Bowl will take place on Thursday, Dec. 30, at 3:00 p.m. ET. Tennessee and Purdue will square off in Nashville’s Nissan Stadium.

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.