One of the biggest stories of the offseason for the Tennessee Vols, before COVID-19 took the spotlight, was Cade Mays’ decision to transfer from Georgia to UT.
Mays, famously, was a former Vol commit who decommitted shortly before Butch Jones was fired in 2017. The Knoxville native eventually signed with Georgia as a five-star recruit and played the 2018 and 2019 seasons in Athens.
In early January, Mays’ transfer to Tennessee was officially announced.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) January 9, 2020
The transfer was surprising, but not a total shock. After all, Mays’ younger brother, Cooper, signed with the Vols in December 2019. And there had been some rumblings that a transfer might happen.
Now, seven months after Mays transferred to UT, there’s a question of whether or not the talented offensive lineman will ever play a down at Tennessee.
There are two reasons for this question.
For one, the NCAA has yet to rule whether or not Mays will be eligible in 2020. The expectation is that Mays will be eligible (Tom Mars, Mays’ former attorney, has repeatedly said the former UGA offensive lineman should be ruled eligible), but this is the NCAA we’re talking about — they don’t always do what makes sense.
The other reason that Mays may never play at UT is because the 2020 season is in jeopardy. The SEC is planning to play, but there’s no guarantee the season will actually happen (the status of sports, in general, are a very fluid situation right now that can change on any given day).
I’m sure the immediate reaction to both of those reasons is “so what, we’ll see him in 2021”.
Well, maybe. But maybe not.
Mays is already on the NFL draft radar. In fact, an early 2021 mock draft from DraftSite.com has Mays listed as a second pick (No. 55 overall to the New England Patriots).
If Mays is already in the second round range, would he come back for the 2021 season? Especially given the uncertainty of sports?
Again, maybe he does. Maybe Mays decides he wants to play at least one year at Tennessee with his brother.
But maybe he decides the chance to be a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft is too big of an opportunity to pass on.
I have no idea how this will all play out. No one does. But I think UT fans should at least brace themselves for the possibility that Mays never plays a down for Tennessee.
Featured image via 247Sports