Can the Bulldogs pull another legacy in Cooper Mays out of Tennessee?
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings at least four days a week. The play today calls for a chat with prized Tennessee OL recruit Cooper Mays. Mays, who is currently a 3-star recruit, is the son of former Volunteers team captain Kevin Mays. He is also the younger brother of current UGA freshman OL Cade Mays.
Cooper Mays will have a decision on his hands. Give him credit for doing his due process at this time.
The class of 2020 recruit is the son of a former Tennessee team captain from the glory days of the Phil Fulmer era.
But he is also the younger brother of current Georgia freshman OL/TE/H-back Cade Mays.
Cade Mays chose the Bulldogs during the early signing period a year ago. He was a long-time Tennessee commit, but the unrest regarding that program sparked his de-commitment and eventual UGA decision.
The junior OL prospect from Knoxville Catholic (Knoxville, Tenn.) was on hand last Saturday for the season opener.
It was not his first trip. Cooper had camped well in Athens this summer. There was at least one other trip to watch his brother scrimmage last month.
“That was my first game in Athens,” Mays said of his visit last weekend. “It was really cool to see the atmosphere and everything on Saturdays with Georgia in Athens. It was really cool to see my brother play. That was very fun.”
There was a family moment in the pregame. When the OL drills allowed him the time, Cade hustled near where his brother was and acknowledged him. Nothing formal. Just a moment between brothers. Those two really don’t talk about football much. They both get enough of it with their teams.
“I was proud of him,” Cooper Mays said. “It was really cool to see him out there playing big-time football and everything. I miss playing with him but it is great to see him at Power 5 school out there succeeding. Not many people out there are going to get first-team reps at an SEC school. Especially as a freshman.”
Those two played side-by-side in high school. The ability to possibly replicate that at Georgia will be a draw to Athens. But maybe not as big as another fella who is much more likely to be in Athens for the 2021 season.
That’s Sam Pittman.
“Good things are happening in Athens,” Cooper Mays said. “I like it a lot.”
The Sam Pittman draw for Cooper Mays
When asked to describe Pittman, Cooper did sound like a lot of OL recruits DawgNation has interviewed.
“Coach Pitt is just a funny dude,” Cooper Mays said. “He’s got a ton of funny stories. He’s super funny.”
There was more.
“Shoot,” Mays said. “Just a big fun-loving guy. Just a great guy to be around honestly and just a joy to be around.”
Cooper Mays sounds like a simple guy. He made it clear the recruiting lounge and West End Zone was nice. It is convenient. He was more than thankful for the copious array of food that was available.
Georgia could have made the belly of a 340-pound tackle tap out last weekend.
“The eating was nice,” he said. “They had barbecue before the game. Barbecue chicken and barbecue pulled pork. Barbecue sandwiches. Macaroni and cheese. Shoot, that was really fun for me. I liked that.”
But his final decision will not be made by things that can be found on the invoices sent to the University of Georgia Athletic Association for those new upgrades.
“I loved it obviously but I am more focused on the people at Georgia rather than anything,” Cooper Mays said.
That $65 million may have been well spent, but he’s looking for more.
“I’m not very big on materialistic things,” Cooper Mays said. “I’m more focused on the people and how the vibe is around Athens more than anything.”
Mays said it feels like the Georgia, LSU and the Tennessee staffs are recruiting him a click or two harder than other schools right now.
Cooper Mays said Pittman has told him that he likes the way he carries himself as a person.
“When I came down there to camp and showcased what I was able to do during the big man camp I think he was really impressed,” he said. “Mainly with how I move and my athleticism and everything.”
Mays estimated he only got beat three times at the camp. He went 1-for-3 against current 2019 Clemson commit Logan Cash.
Cash got him twice, but Mays took the last rep between the two.
A few more things about Cooper Mays
The 6-foot-3 junior had his offer from UGA pinned atop his Twitter page for a long time, but that is no longer the case.
The 17-year-old will turn 18 in March. He weighs around 255 pounds and works at center and left guard right now. It hinges on what his team needs.
“Every major college that is recruiting me right now is recruiting me (at) center,” Mays said. “I feel comfortable playing anything. But I like playing center a lot.”
Cooper will enroll early. That is maybe the only certainty right now he will follow in his brother’s path. The only thing to know regarding a timeline would be that there is no timeline.
“Whenever I feel right where I am with my decision then I will commit,” Mays said. “I don’t have a scheduled date with it. Whenever it feels right, I’m good with it.
There is a 23-month age difference between the brothers. When Cooper turns 18, then Cade will only be a year older for a month.
There are similarities given the DNA pool, but he is a lot different than the Bulldog freshman he grew up with.
“We’re very different how we are wired,” Cooper Mays said. “I’m more like my Mom. He’s more like my Dad. We are both nasty on the field but he’s more of a person that is very emotional. I am more even-keeled the whole time.”
“I try to play hard and dominate but I’m not going to be on the field yelling and stuff.”
It sounds like the common differences between they way centers and offensive tackles are wired. The center has to have his head wired into the thinking man’s aspect of the game. The line calls and front checks are all a part of it.
“There’s nothing better to me than going out there and having trust in my teammates and just working as a team,” he said. “Knowing that the guy beside you has your back and you have his back. I love that part of the game. I also love going out there and making people quit.”
Cade Mays is the outdoorsman. Cooper might wind up in medical school. Cade was the 5-star who got an SEC offer before he was in high school.
His younger brother rates as the nation’s No. 4 center on the 247Sports Composite for 2020, but he is currently slotted as a 3-star recruit.
Cooper has the edge on his older brother in other areas.
“Anything but hunting and fishing and I’ve got him,” Cooper Mays said. “But I have to give those to my big brother.”
What path will Cooper Mays take to college football?
Tennessee. Just like Dad.
Georgia. To play for Sam Pittman with Cade.
Perhaps none of the above? What will that process feel like as he sorts out his best decision?
“It is nice to have connections everywhere,” Cooper said. “But I don’t feel pressure or anything. I don’t think that Cade or I have had like a good amount of pressure on us. Maybe Cade for a little bit but I don’t want to speak for him.”
“I just know that I don’t feel any pressure to go any certain way than what place is best for me. Whatever that is, I will be fine with it and I know my family will be, too.”
He’s thinking of taking his 4.0 grade-point-average into the medical field in college. An anesthesiologist or an orthodontist could be his vocation when he’s done playing.
But for right now, he’s impressed with the Bulldogs. He said the vibe he has with Pittman right now is the biggest thing he likes about UGA.
Why is that?
“Shoot, just his ability to like connect,” Cooper Mays said. “I don’t know if it is just with me. I am a pretty easy person to get along with. But I feel like coach Pittman could walk into a room and be friends with every single person in it and talk to them for hours and hours.”
“I’m not big on facilities at all. I value the people. So when I go down to Georgia, I usually don’t even tour the facilities at UGA anymore. I just go straight to Pitt’s office and we can talk for hours.”
“You laugh a lot. That’s all you are doing when you talk to him.”
Those that follow this blog know that Pittman creates that with just about everyone he meets. Not just those that he recruits for Georgia.
Did you see “Before the Hedges” this week?
My DawgNation.com colleague Brandon Adams and I continue to pour a lot of content into the “Before The Hedges” program each week.
The reboot, which streams here on Facebook Live at 3 p.m. each Wednesday, will come in very strong with a digital and multimedia presence on UGA football recruiting.
We’ve offered film reviews with Mike Johnson on UGA OL commit Xavier Truss in past weeks, along with talented freshman Bulldogs like Trey Hill, Cade Mays and Jamaree Salyer so far.
5-star junior DE Myles Murphy was a one-on-one interview subject in specific content generated for just that program. We’ve also had a fun sitdown with 4-star junior DT pledge Jamil Burroughs so far. That’s not to mention audio interviews with key UGA targets like Lewis Cine, Rian Davis and 5-star junior RB Kendall Milton over the past few weeks.
We also used our program this week to take a stroll down memory lane in regards to our favorite UGA commitment videos so far from the DawgNation archives.
Check it out if you have not already. We make every effort to make it a must-see program for DawgNation. It is all provided to you guys from a great long-time partnership with Kroger.
The Hurry-Up and Write It for the Week
- Let me be sure to point out this week just how good a start that 4-star commit John Rhys Plumlee is having so far along his senior season. Plumlee threw 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a junior. I found that to be concerning. Especially for the high school level.
- Well, it seems like the light bulb has flashed on Mr. Plumlee in his senior year. He’s averaging 14.7 yards per attempt and putting in the kind of numbers that make one think he’s living in Checkdown City. The Plumlee stat line for 2018 lists 44 completions across 57 attempts for 641 yards along a 3-0 start. Plumlee has thrown nine touchdowns so far this year and zero interceptions.
- Georgia 4-star ILB commitment Trezmen Marshall told me earlier this week that he has established the Tennessee game for his official visit. He will enroll early and there’s still all this Auburn, FSU and Tennessee talk swirling about. But those programs will be hard-pressed to show a better product on the field than what Marshall will witness at Georgia this fall. That will still be key to his decision.
- Class of 2021 WR Julian Nixon is a big name to know, but he suffered some bad news recently. He told DawgNation that he tore his ACL and his meniscus earlier this month and is now out for the year. That’s a tough blow for Centennial (Roswell, Ga.) and especially such a popular and well-liked player in Nixon. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder had 51 catches for 754 yards and seven touchdowns last year as a true freshman.
- Nixon will bounce back. His recovery is more important right now than his recruiting. But I think the Bulldog will a chance there, but I also think that Auburn might loom very large here as well. He currently rates as the nation’s No. 9 overall prospect for 247Sports and as the No. 1 player in Georgia up to this point.
- He suffered that injury last week and had surgery this past Wednesday. Nixon finished his sophomore year with 11 catches for 130 yards and two scores. He even added eight carries for 41 yards and one scoring run in the rushing column. Centennial even called a play that gave him the ability to throw the ball, but that one fell incomplete. He’ll be a huge in-state name to cover in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
The Tweets you better not miss
There are a few of these to go around of late. Let’s start off with one of the most impressive runs we will ever see from a high school RB.
This just happens to another 5-star who is committed to play for Georgia.
Looking through raw video of Destrehan-Slidell. I found a @Emery4____ play more impressive than any of his 3 TD runs. It took SIX, I repeat SIX, Tiger defenders to bring down Emery. This is beast mode personified. pic.twitter.com/d6eMOG03jz
— Garland Gillen (@garlandgillen) September 5, 2018
Do not adjust your cell phone screen. That really was six defenders trying to bring him down. That clip was so impressive that it moves the mere three touchdowns he scored that night to second-class highlights status.
The reality here is that Emery carrying the ball for scores is very much eye-opening in its own right. He seems to treat every carry like it is supposed to end with him dragging his dirty cleats into the end zone.
— Garland Gillen (@garlandgillen) September 1, 2018
Let’s move on to another fantastic recruit for UGA in the 2019 class. That would be 4-star OLB Rian “Trouble” Davis. He will start out at ILB for the Bulldogs.
Something slight today 🤧 pic.twitter.com/sWiV5wTkaT
— Rian "Trouble" Davis (@Trouble_R4) September 6, 2018
In what seems like a class of 2019 thing, the eye-opening tweets for Bulldog commits are coming in twos.
Davis and his Wekiva (Fla.) teammates scored an impressive 28-14 win over GHSA defending Class 7A state champion North Gwinnett late Saturday night. The win snapped a 15-game win streak for North Gwinnett.
Wekiva currently holds a No. 1 ranking for its classification in Florida.
Chad Simmons of Rivals.com tweeted out an excellent rep from Davis from The Freedom Bowl last week.
#Georgia fans have to be excited about @WekivaFootball linebacker Rian Davis @Trouble_R4. He was impressive at @TheFreedomBowl last night. He plays with fire, passion and energy. #Dawgs @Rivals @UGASportscom @ReuseRecruiting https://t.co/bjbmsmjyaK pic.twitter.com/sG1ICktveZ
— Chad Simmons (@ChadSimmons_) September 2, 2018
There’s also this tweet from former Auburn commitment Andy Boykin that definitely caught everyone’s attention on Wednesday.
— Andy Boykin (@boykinandy_andy) September 5, 2018
The reminder tweet here is that Boykin tweeted out his de-commitment from Auburn on Aug. 31.
No interviews 🙅🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/yUylkCxgmJ
— Andy Boykin (@boykinandy_andy) August 31, 2018
There’s not a direct correlation with the timing here. Boykin backed off the Auburn pledge on Aug. 31. That coincides with the Sept. 1 date for schools to reach out directly to Class of 2020 prospects, too.
It is worthwhile to note that was the only tweet or images from a college program that Boykin has chosen to tweet out so far since that date.
Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.