Georgia has lost a key contributor along the offensive trenches. Per ESPN, rising junior offensive lineman Cade Mays has announced his decision to transfer. He will not go far either, as the talented lineman plans to transfer to SEC East rival Tennessee. This is a significant loss for the Bulldogs, who already have instability with the offensive line after losing coach Sam Pittman to Arkansas. They now have only one returning starter along the trenches in rising junior Trey Hill.
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) January 8, 2020
Mays Player Profile
Mays has played in 25 games for the Bulldogs over the course of two seasons; 11 as a true freshman in 2018 and all 14 games of his sophomore season. He is a versatile lineman who has seen SEC playing time at both guard and tackle. In his game film, he shows tenacity and a real mean streak through the whistle. He finishes blocks, and seems to relish putting lineman and linebackers into the turf.
Coming out of high school, the five star prospect was listed as the number three offensive tackle in the country and the number one prospect from the state of Tennessee, per 247Sports Composite. Cade Mays will join his brother, Cooper Mays, who signed with the Vols during the early signing period. He also joins former teammate Deangelo Gibbs, who transferred in 2019 from the Bulldogs to the Vols. The son of former Tennessee lineman Kevin Mays, Cade was committed to the Vols for over two years. He decommitted in the midst of the coaching change in Knoxville and worst season in program history and signed with the Bulldogs. Now, it seems he will come back to Knoxville amid similar circumstances in Athens to live out a lifelong dream to play in orange.
Cade Mays Transfer Impact to Tennessee
While he will likely have to sit out the 2020 season, he could feasibly apply for a NCAA waiver. He has lost his offensive coordinator and position coach in two years in Athens. Apparently, his father and the Mays family are also pursuing legal action against the University of Georgia at this time.
UPDATE: The Mays family is reportedly suing UGA after Kevin Mays, Cade's father and former Vol lineman, had his finger amputated after an incident at an UGA sporting event:https://t.co/37jGWemkUH
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) January 8, 2020
Players have been granted waivers for less, although Tennessee has experienced their own issues with the waiver process. Regardless of his eligibility status, he will join fellow five star linemen Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright in the position meetings in either 2020 or 2021. If he is eligible in 2020, then the Vols could presumably have 4 five star linemen across the front if Trey Smith decides to forgo the draft for his senior season this Thursday. If not, look for Mays to fill the gap left by the All American guard. With his run blocking proficiency, he will likely fit best at guard for the Volunteers. Morris and Wright fit the prototypical tackle mold better, and the interior line could use Mays skill set more. He will likely immediately compete for playing time when he is eligible.
With two solid recruiting classes at the position along with some fortune in the transfer market, Tennessee suddenly finds themselves with some blue chip depth on the offensive line. It was not long ago this group was a liability to the team’s ambitions in 2017. Now, head coach Jeremy Pruitt has quietly amassed a strong, imposing force in the trenches. Regardless of his 2020 eligibility, Cade Mays will be a welcome addition to the program when he is eligible.