Cade Mays declared he loves “everything about Tennessee” when he verbally committed to the Volunteers and coach Butch Jones back in mid-July.
The Knoxville Catholic School sophomore lineman wasn’t joking. When the Big Orange takes to Shields-Watkins Field, Mays has been in attendance almost each and every game this fall — even though he’s three years away from being a Vol himself.
The Scout four-star offensive tackle prospect was on hand to see Tennessee rally back from 21 down to beat then-No. 19 Georgia 38-31 and was in the front row to see Tennessee defeat South Carolina 27-24 at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.
“Things are moving forward, definitely,” Mays told InsideTennessee. “I think there’s a national championship somewhere soon.
“I love it here, definitely.”
The Tennessee legacy (son of Kevin Mays, nephew of Michael Frogg) and 6-foot-5, 295-pounder is quickly becoming a celebrity with Big Orange Country.
“They’re great,” said Mays, who’s been part of the No. 4-ranked home attendance in the nation at 101,913 per Neyland Saturday. “Just coming out here every weekend, they’re just all great.”
Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike DeBord and offensive line coach Don Mahoney stay in consistent communication with Mays.
“I’ve been talking to them quite a bit,” Mays said. “They’re just great coaches, great guys.”
Knoxville Catholic eliminated Seymour 50-7 in the opening round of the TSSAA Class 4A state playoffs. Up next is a showdown for the Irish (7-4) versus back-to-back-to-back state champion Fulton (10-1).
“We just let some opportunities slide,” said Mays of a loss earlier this season to Fulton. “We did everything right physically, mentally. We’ve just got to have a good week of preparation and just dominate.
“We haven’t beaten them the two times we’ve played them. We just want the third time to be different, and we just want to win.”
The Falcons eliminated Catholic in the second round 51-14 during to end Mays’ freshman season.