Cooper Mays is well on his way for making a name for himself.
Not only is a starter for one of the premier offensive lines in the Volunteer State, but he’s getting Power 5 conference scholarship offers, including one from Tennessee.
Vols coaches hosted the son of VFL Kevin Mays and brother of Tennessee commit Cade Mays for a junior day recruiting event in February.
“It was pretty good,” Cooper Mays said. “I’ve been here a lot over with Cade and just the family. I know what to expect usually, but it’s always cool to come here and feel the love.”
Should he sign with Tennessee, he would again have a chance to play alongside older brother.
“It would be pretty special, but we all know what’s best for me could be different than Cade,” Cooper Mays said. “I’ve just got to do what’s better for me, but it would be cool.”
Having a brother that’s the Scout No. 16-ranked prospect in the nation can cast a shadow, however, the freshman says Tennessee is paying him enough individual attention.
“They tell me to come back whenever I want to,” Cooper Mays said. “I’m always welcome here.
“I know through my family and even Cade’s decision that I can just go…I don’t feel any pressure to go anywhere. I can go wherever I want, wherever I feel like is best for me.”
Tennessee has had a coaching change along its offensive front since Mays first got his scholarship offer from the Orange & White, going from Don Mahoney to Walt Wells.
“Coach Wells, he’s pretty cool, I like him,” Mays said. “I didn’t really have a relationship with him, I just had a relationship with coach Mahoney. I’ve been here (to campus) twice since he’s gotten hired and he’s pretty good. I like him. He’s pretty cool.”
Other programs expressing interest in the Knoxville Catholic School offensive guard include a pair of big-name programs beyond Tennessee.
“I thought Texas was going to offer me a few weeks ago but Georgia offered,” Mays said.
The prep guard projects by some to be a center on the next level. His approach is team-first: “Whatever the school needs me as, whatever they want me to do.”
The freshman said he figures to line up on the left side of the line next to Cade Mays again in 2017.
“I think I’m more of like an explosive, fast, fast-twitch player,” Mays said in comparison to his brother, who plays tackle for Catholic. “I can do whatever they need me to. I’m must really more of a fast-twitch player…Next year (in 2018), when Cade leaves, I’ll probably move to right tackle.
“Coming into freshman year, I was just more focused on learning the offense and just what I was supposed to do and just trying to do everything as fast and as hard as I can as possible. I guess now I can more worry about — since I know the plays and the offense more — my technique and develop that more and just other positions and what they’re doing.”
The 6-foot-2, 245-pounder told IT that he is currently able to bench press 255 pounds and squat 345. He does not participate in a spring sport for Catholic and intends to hit some camps this spring to test his skills against defensive linemen in other parts of the South. This summer, he will work out with former Volunteer offensive tackle Kyler Kerbyson, who lends a hand at Catholic from time to time.