The Tennessee Vols learned on Wednesday that offensive lineman Cade Mays, who transferred to UT earlier this year from Georgia, was finally ruled eligible by the SEC.
Mays missed Tennessee’s season-opener against South Carolina because of the delayed ruling.
The addition of Mays to the offensive line rotation will beef up a unit that is already playing at a high level. Mays has plenty of experience at every position along the offensive line, so he can provide a lot of versatility for Jeremy Pruitt and his staff.
Mays is so versatile, in fact, that he could provide depth at another position, too.
While speaking to reporters on Wednesday evening, Pruitt mentioned that Mays could also play tight end.
“He’s (Mays) a smart guy that can play multiple positions. He can play guard, tackle, center, tight end,” said Pruitt. “We’ve repped him all the way through camp with the twos at different positions just in case it did happen we would be ready.”
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With Austin Pope likely out for the year, there’s certainly a need for another player to step up at tight end.
And so far, no one has.
“It’s a position where we have several guys capable of contributing. It’s probably good and bad that nobody has separated themselves,” said Pruitt of the tight end position on Wednesday.
Redshirt junior Princeton Fant was the only tight end to catch a pass for the Vols against South Carolina (one reception for 11 yards).
Now, I don’t think fans should expect to see Mays moved to tight end and running routes most of the game. That wouldn’t make a ton of sense.
But we could definitely see Pruitt and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney get creative with Mays and line him up at tight end. I imagine this would mostly be in a blocking role, but he could certainly be capable of running a route and catching the defense off guard.
Chaney is one of the most creative offensive coordinators in the SEC. And he knows how to utilize talented players. Mays lining up at tight end isn’t something that most programs would be expecting, which is exactly why we could see it happen.
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