Kirby Smart Talks Cade Mays Committing To Georgia Over Hometown Tennessee Volunteers

Kirby Smart Talks Cade Mays Committing To Georgia Over Hometown Tennessee Volunteers

Football

Kirby Smart Talks Cade Mays Committing To Georgia Over Hometown Tennessee Volunteers


Tennessee fans have a lot to be upset about, I mean, they have not won an SEC football game in over 670 days…

But I’m not sure anything triggers Volnation more than two words: Cade Mays.

Mays, a freshman offensive lineman for the Georgia Bulldogs, came to Athens as a five star recruit. A native on Knoxville, Tennessee, Mays enraged Volunteer fans when he revealed a Georgia shirt underneath his button-down on the first day of the early signing period last December.

Mays, whose father Kevin was a captain on the 1994 Tennessee team, had committed to former Vols coach Butch Jones before beginning his sophomore season of high school.

As the program continued to plummet, so did Mays’ dream of carrying on his father’s legacy in Knoxville.

It was a tough pill to swallow for Tennessee fans, who considered Mays one of the biggest pieces to a puzzle that would eventually turn their football program around.

To this day, the words “Cade Mays” can send a hopeless Volunteer fan into an epic hissy fit. It really is glorious.

This weekend, Mays, who has seen a significant portion of playing time this season, will get a chance to suit up against his hometown team.

Smart talked about the importance of this game for the 6’6″ 320 pounder.

“I think Cade is a bright kid,” said Smart. “He comes from a good family. I think he understands that Knoxville means a great deal to them and his dad played there and he’s a legacy and all that. But at the end of the day, when you get between the lines, a lot of that stuff fades out. You start playing the game, and you play physical, and you play hard.”

Currently, Mays is battling it out for the starting right guard job after Ben Cleveland suffered a broken leg against Missouri. Previously, Mays earned a start at left tackle in Andrew Thomas’ absence and then filled in for him again when Thomas reinjured his ankle last weekend.

Overall, Mays has done a good job protecting the quarterback and opening running lanes. At times, however, he has reminded fans that he’s still a freshman with some holding penalties and whiffed blocks. But there’s no doubt Mays will be a longtime starter on Sam Pittman’s offensive line and a likely future NFL player.

“Hopefully he’ll be a guy out there; we don’t know how the lineups are going to play out,” Smart continued. “He’s a great competitor, and he comes from a good family, and at the end of the day, I know he’ll give us an A-effort.”

Smart was asked about what it meant to receive a commitment from Mays, considering Georgia was at a heavy disadvantage.

I think that Georgia’s a great academic institution,” Smart said, downplaying the major recruiting victory.

Smart then dug a little deeper.

“It’s a place that I think he knew he had an opportunity to come here and play,” he added. “He wanted to play for championships, and that’s important to him. He really had a good relationship with Coach (Sam) Pittman. And at the end of the day, that long-term relationship with him probably won out, because they had a new staff coming in.”

Georgia (4-0, 2-0) hosts Tennessee (2-2, 0-1) this Saturday in Sanford Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on CBS.

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