The recruitment of offensive lineman Cade Mays to Georgia was something that showed the state of the Tennessee program and the trajectory of Georgia.

Mays, now a key cog on the Georgia offensive line as a sophomore, is a Knoxville, Tennessee native who’s father Kevin was an all-SEC guard and offensive captain in 1994 at Tennessee. Mays was a 5-star prospect, the top prospect in Tennessee in his recruiting class, and one of the top offensive linemen in the country. Offensive line coach Sam Pittman’s landing Mays is one of the several big recruiting wins that Georgia has secured in recent years.

Mays also plays with a mean streak, something Georgia fans love, and many believe sets him apart from other offensive linemen. May has played consistently at right guard and right tackle this season for the Bulldogs.

However, this week at Tennessee is his first game back in his hometown, and Georgia coach Kirby Smart was asked at his regular weekly press conference about his message to Mays ahead of this homecoming.

“He had that last year,” Smart said of playing Tennessee in Athens. “I know it wasn’t there, but it was the same emotions I think that he played with. Obviously when your father plays for that school, and you grow up in that town, there’s a lot of emotions there. But Cade’s played in a lot of big games. Cade’s played a lot of snaps, a lot of possessions. I think Cade Mays understands that can’t let the emotion get the best of him. He knows a lot of guys on their team and kind of was around a lot of them, but Cade’s got good self control. He understands what he can and can’t do. He’ll play hard just like they’ll play hard against him.”