Welcome to SEC Country’s weekly mailbag, a question-and-answer forum between readers and Tennessee team and recruiting reporter Blake Morgan.
In this edition, we discuss the latest with Tennessee de-commit Cade Mays.
To submit a question for Blake, send a message to @BlakeMorganSEC on Twitter or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I like to use this space to answer a wide range of topics affecting Tennessee recruiting for the week. This week is a bit different, though.
Tennessee publically lost the commitment of Cade Mays on Tuesday morning when he tweeted out the news. Naturally, all the questions I received for the mailbag regarded Mays.
Here are a few examples:
Do we still have a realistic chance with C. Mays? (Talbert Teresa – Facebook)
Is Cade going to recommit if a new coach comes in? (Tyler Tidwell – Facebook)
What are the chances Cade Mays still comes to Tennessee? (W Michael Strange –Facebook)
Cade Mays? – (Mike Shuford – Facebook)
Obviously, there is only one thing on the minds of Tennessee fans in terms of recruiting right now. Will Mays re-commit or is he lost forever?
I believe Mays still wants to be a part of the Tennessee program, but he fell out of favor with this coaching staff. Coach Butch Jones’ team appears to have cratered in Year 5 without much hope of rebounding.
The Vols have lost all five SEC games they have played this season, though three did come down to the final play of the game. It is clear the program has taken a bigger step back than many expected heading into the season.
Mays wants to win championships. He’s said multiple times his goal at Knoxville Catholic this season is to win a state title. He also wants to compete for national championships in college.
It seems Mays doesn’t believe a Jones led Tennessee program gives him much of a shot to do this. It probably becomes magnified while he’s being heavily recruited by Georgia and Clemson.
At this point, Tennessee’s best chance to bring Mays back on board would be a coaching change with a replacement announced shortly after.
Mays plans to take advantage of the early signing period beginning on Dec. 20. He will then early enroll from there.
If a new coaching staff were to be put into place, it would have around 20 days, with luck, to convince Mays that Tennessee is the right place for him. The biggest convincing would likely be the new coach has the prowess to compete at an elite level.
Still, less than three weeks to build a relationship and convince a 5-star recruit to trust you is not an enviable task.
Mays obviously is a local kid who had been committed to Tennessee for a long time. His father, Kevin, was a captain on the team in the 1990s.
I think Mays still wants to be a Vol, but he must first believe the program is heading in the right direction first.