Cade Mays's first game as a Tennessee Volunteer inside of Neyland Stadium was more than just the return of a local star or a kid who was committed to the program for more than half of his prep career, it was a family affair. Mays is the son of former Tennessee standout, Kevin Mays, and he is the brother of current Tennessee offensive lineman, Cooper Mays.
It was an experience that Cade described as ‘unreal.’ During media availability on Tuesday, he said, “it's been an unreal experience. We got to play for a state championship in high school and won that. We got to do a lot of things growing up together. One of our dreams was to play college football together. Now that that’s a reality, it’s unreal. On my first play, I looked over and he was right next to me, so it was unbelievable to see that become a reality. Afterward, we talked about it. We are just both ecstatic that we both get to be out on the same field at an SEC level and compete. It's just awesome.”
Mays also got the opportunity to play beside a long-time friend in Trey Smith. Mays said on this, ““It was awesome. It was something that we’ve talked about since my sophomore and junior years of high school. For that to come to fruition, it was awesome to look over and see him lined up next to me. I’m comfortable wherever I play. If I get more left tackles reps and get to play next to him, that will be awesome.”
It is unclear who Mays will lineup next to on Saturday against Alabama, as Tennessee’s offensive line has been hit by injury. He is comfortable with wherever that might be. “For my whole college experience, I’ve played all five positions on the line, so I’ve embraced being able to play all five positions. Wherever I am on the field, I try to put forth my best effort and help the guys around me. I’m not really concerned with moving around. I don’t think you necessarily need (the same) five guys all of the time on the field. Just like how the defense runs in different guys on different packages, playing different positions, I think it also confuses the defense and messed them up going against me at one spot this series and another the next. I think it’s a good change of continuity.”
Tennessee will host Alabama at 3:30 ET on CBS.