6’6″ 325 pounds; Hometown: Knoxville, Tenn.
We started this list naming Darnell Wright given his potential and his new role at left tackle. Well, joining Wright is the other player who was a unanimous five-star coming out of high school and is now set to take over one of the tackle roles. To nobody’s surprise, Cade Mays is one of the most important players for Tennessee football this year.
Mays isn’t playing left tackle, but his versatility makes him a bigger impact player than Wright. That’s because if there’s an injury on the interior, Josh Heupel will likely move Mays inside. Heck, if Wright gets hurt, Mays could move over to that side.
Simply put, Mays is the most versatile player on the offensive line and an elite talent regardless of where you put him. Both he and his brother, Cooper Mays, who are local legacy players and graduates of Knox County’s Knoxville Catholic High School, will be starting on the line this year. As a center, Cooper Mays was almost the third lineman to make this list.
Last year, upon his transfer from the Georgia Bulldogs, Cade Mays struggled with consistency at times. The COVID limitations combined with the delay on the NCAA eligibility waiver hindered his development. Those aren’t issues this year, so he should thrive once again.