Tennessee is set to get a key piece of the offensive puzzle back for 2021. Cade Mays told Jimmy Hyams on Thursday that he was going to return to Tennessee for next season, and that report was later confirmed by 247Sports.
Tennessee OL Cade Mays texted me that he is returning to UT and that he will be healthy enough to participate in spring practice: `I am returning and will be able to do spring ball.' That will help an OL that will surely miss All-American Trey Smith.— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) December 31, 2020
Mays transferred from Georgia to Tennessee last offseason. The former five-star recruit became eligible after the first game of the season and was immediately inserted into the starting lineup.
Mays initially committed to Tennessee in the final year of Butch Jones, but backed off of that commitment after Jones was fired. He was the 22nd overall player in the 2018 class, per 247Sports.
Cade joined his brother Cooper at Tennessee, who signed as a part of the Volunteers’ 2020 class. The brothers saw some playing time together this season, and could be set to see quite a bit more in 2021. Kevin Mays, Cade and Cooper’s father, played at Tennessee in the 1990s.
Tennessee will lose Trey Smith to the NFL, while other seniors Brandon Kennedy and Jahmir Johnson have not announced if they will return.
Mays started seven games for Tennessee in 2020 before missing the last couple due to injury. He will return as a junior once again, likely playing at both right tackle in guard — now for a new offensive line coach after Will Friend’s departure.