Mays, who played in all 14 games at Georgia last season before transferring in January, must still receive a waiver from the SEC to play for the Volunteers this season. He is an expected starter on Tennessee's offensive line if he is eligible.
The NCAA initially denied Mays' request for a waiver in August, but Tennessee officials asked the NCAA to reconsider and submitted additional information. He has been allowed to practice while awaiting a decision.
Mays, a 6-foot-6, 328-pound junior, is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee. His younger brother, Cooper, signed with the Volunteers during the early signing period in November.
Their father, Kevin Mays, was an All-SEC guard and offensive captain for the Volunteers in 1994.
According to Athens-Clarke County State Court records, Mays' parents sued the University of Georgia System Board of Regents, the Georgia Athletic Association and other entities after Kevin Mays' right pinkie finger was amputated because of an accident involving a folding chair at the Bulldogs' team gala in December 2017. Cade Mays, then a senior at Knoxville Catholic High School, was on a recruiting visit to UGA.
According to the complaint for damages filed on Dec. 5, 2019, "Plaintiff Kevin Mays's right pinky finger was partially amputated as the subject folding chair wedged against the column. His severed finger shot across the floor. UGA Offensive Line Coach Sam Pittman [now head coach at Arkansas] picked up Plaintiff Kevin Mays's severed finger from the floor, and it was put on ice."
The complaint said Kevin Mays was transported to Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital, where he was diagnosed with partial amputation and fracture. The complaint said he is right-handed.
The complaint says Kevin Mays' right pinkie finger couldn't be reattached and he underwent skin-graft surgery on his hand. He continues to "suffer terrible pain and decreased use of his right hand," according to the complaint, and he is seeking $3 million for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.
Cade Mays played every offensive line position for Georgia last season, including six starts at right guard, two at right tackle, two at left guard and one at left tackle. He played in 11 of 14 games as a freshman and was named to the coaches' freshman All-SEC team in 2018.