January 1, 2020 New Orleans: Cade Mays started at left tackle for Georgia against Baylor in the Sugar Bowl at the Superdome on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, in New Orleans. He has since transferred to Tennessee. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: Curtis Compton/Curtis Compton
Photo: Curtis Compton/Curtis Compton

Tennessee announces Cade Mays’ enrollment 

Mays, a two-year starter on Georgia’s offensive line, entered the NCAA’s transfer portal earlier this week. His arrival on the Tennessee campus was announced via the Volunteers’ Twitter account late Thursday afternoon.

Rocky Top has been Mays’ destination since news that he entered portal broke Wednesday. Simultaneously, it was learned that May's father, Kevin Mays, had filed a $3.5 million lawsuit against UGA and a folding-chair manufacturer. Kevin Mays lost the end of a pinkie during a recruiting visit at Sanford Stadium in 2017 when his finger got caught in a chair.

Mays was rushed to Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital, where the digit was surgically re-attached. Cade Mays later signed with the Bulldogs and started 17 games over the past two seasons, including the last one during the Sugar Bowl.

Attorney Thomas Mars of Atlanta, a college eligibility specialist, confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he is representing Cade Mays in his attempt to win immediate eligibility at Tennessee. Mays’ younger brother, Cooper, is an early enrollee with the Vols and also plays offense. Their father, Kevin, also played football at Tennessee.

Robin Loeb of Atlanta is representing Kevin Mays and his wife in the lawsuit. The suit was filed in the State Court of Athens-Clarke County on Dec. 5 and is considered a public document.

Generally, players who transfer from one SEC institution to another have to sit out a year before being eligible to compete. It is believed Mars will use the lawsuit as a “mitigating circumstance” to win immediate eligibility for Mays via the NCAA’s waiver process.

Mays was a 5-star prospect and a longtime Tennessee commitment before signing with the Bulldogs in 2018. He proved to be Georgia’s most versatile offensive lineman the past two seasons, playing all six positions on the line of scrimmage, including center and tight end.

Mays becomes the fourth starter on the Bulldogs’ offensive line who will not be back with the team next season. Guard Solomon Kindley and tackles Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson all declared for the NFL draft as underclassmen. Center Trey Hill, who will be a junior next season, is the only regular starter who is certain to return.

Meanwhile, junior quarterback Jake Fromm also declared for the NFL draft this week. That means the Bulldogs have lost their quarterback, four offensive linemen, two right ends, top two rushers and two of their top five receivers since losing to LSU in SEC Championship game Dec. 7.

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