When right tackle Cade Mays made the decision to transfer from Georgia to Tennessee, he was united with the program his father, Kevin, suited up for as a standout offensive lineman in the 1990s. He would also be joined by a very familiar face in the position room: his younger brother, Cooper.

The choice wasn’t without controversy: the older of the Mays brothers had to wait to see if he would be eligible to play immediately as matters between him and his former school took an ugly turn at times. But the NCAA and SEC ruled ultimately ruled in his favor, clearing the path for him to contribute right away.

The 2 certainly share a very strong bond as brothers, one that will certainly help the younger Mays as he navigates through the early stages of his college career.

“He’s very tough around the edges, very hard to break through his shell,” Cooper Mays explained. “But once you get in there, you’re there for life. If he likes you and you’re in that small little circle, he’ll do anything for you. … A real tough guy on the field, but like a mother in a sense … he’s definitely somebody that will take care of you.”

“We weren’t like the neighborhood kids who kind of clicked with the younger kids,” Cade Mays said of growing up on a farm with his brother in Kingston, Tenn., about a half-hour from Knoxville. “It was just me and him. So, we did everything together from basketball, we’d have Airsoft wars, we’d build forts out in the woods … going to play in the creek, and it was really cool just to be able to experience that with one person … I couldn’t trade the relationship for anything.”