It’s a tumultuous time for Tennessee football. Understatement of the year right? The team is 4-5. Butch Jones’ job is on life support at best. The 2018 recruiting class is taking hits left and right. It’s a bad situation.
That recruiting class that I just mentioned was hit hard yesterday when Cade Mays — a five star offensive tackle that had been committed to Tennessee since 2015 — decommitted. He was the key piece of the class at an area of need for the Vols. With all the issues and uncertainty around the program, Mays understandably is keeping his options open.
Given how big of a recruit Mays is, Jones was vaguely asked about it on Wednesday at his press conference.
Question: “In recruiting, is it hard to keep a player committed for two to three years?”
Butch: “I just think recruiting in general is a great challenge. It’s forged by relationships over time — it’s in flux every single minute, every hour, every day in the world that we live in in terms of recruiting. You have to rely on your relationships. You have to rely on the good things that are going on — there are a ton of good things going on in the program.
A lot of times as a young man, you have to look into a crystal ball. Don’t look at the immediate, but you have to look into the near future. You have to say, okay, the program is here, but when I have my opportunity over the next four years, five years — where do I see the program going?
Every individual has a different set of circumstances that they’re looking for. Look at Trey Smith. Trey Smith wanted that challenge of helping us get Tennessee football back to a very very high level. He wanted that challenge. Each individual is different.”
Mays has visited Clemson and Georgia in back to back weeks. He’s set to visit Ohio State this weekend and he’s scheduled to be in Knoxville when Tennessee takes on Vanderbilt. Tennessee is still in the mix — hopefully the 2018 staff can convince him to stay home.