Football vs. Auburn

Head Football Coach Jeremy Pruitt watches the replay with referees during game against Auburn on Oct. 13, 2018 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Jeremy Pruitt made a big splash on the recruiting trail on Friday, landing in-state offensive lineman Cooper Mays out of Knoxville Catholic High School.

According to 247Sports, Mays is a 6-foot-2, 275-pound center, as well as a 4-star prospect. He is currently rated as the 5th best at his position and 10th overall in the state of Tennessee.

The addition of Mays to the 2020 recruiting class is big for the Vols for a number reasons. Mays' older brother, Cade was a 5-star offensive lineman out of Knoxville Catholic and committed to division rival Georgia back in 2018.

Hauling in Cooper could go a long way in reestablishing a recruiting foothold in East Tennessee, where several top-rated prospects have gone to play elsewhere. Some of those include former Oak Ridge standouts Tee Higgins and Amari Rodgers, who both helped Clemson to a national championship last season.

Mays is also the son of former Tennessee offensive lineman, Kevin Mays, making him a legacy recruit.

It was a shock to some when Cade Mays spurned his father's Alma Mater for Georgia during the 2018 recruiting cycle. Keeping legacy recruits was something the previous coaching staff struggled to do, as Rodgers, the son former Vol quarterback and current wide receivers coach, Tee Martin picked Clemson over UT in the 2017 class.

Landing local talent with program ties could also strengthen Tennessee's prowess on the recruiting trail.

Mays picked the Vols over several SEC teams, including Auburn, Florida and Georgia.

Tennessee jumps to No. 26 in the 247Sports 2020 Class rankings, and No. 10 in the SEC.  

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