6’3″ 295 pounds
Sticking with the offensive line, Cooper Mays arrived on Rocky Top as a four-star in 2020 and was always expected to be the future at center. Last year, he was already being groomed for the role, as he played in all 10 games and actually made two starts at the position for Tennessee football. Now, the job is his for good.
Brandon Kennedy, the starting center over the past two years, is now gone after playing his sixth season in 2020. As a result, Mays is the only player on the team with any significant experience playing center, and that means he’s locked in for the job.
The legacy player, whose father Kevin Mays played on the offensive line in the early 1990s, has everything laid out for him to potentially become a star this year, and starting next to his brother Cade Mays will only make for a better story. As a full-time starter in an offensive-oriented system, what he does at center will be critical.
This position is so safe that the real question is who will back him up. Jerome Carvin has some experience at center, but he’s likely to start somewhere else. Ollie Lane is the only other player who could probably play the position. As a result, Cooper Mays is very safe.