Cade Mays’ sales pitch to Ollie Lane was short and direct when discussing committing to Tennessee.
Lane is a 6-foot-6, 285-pound offensive lineman at Gibbs and close friend to Mays, a 6-6, 330-pound offensive lineman at Catholic.
“I just told him, ‘Tennessee wants you. They are only taking three offensive linemen, so you make a decision,'” said Mays, a Catholic senior and No. 1 college football prospect in the state according to 247Sports.
“I knew that’s where he wanted to go. I just wanted to make sure he didn’t wait until the last minute after they already got three.”
That helped spark Lane’s decision to commit to the Vols like Mays had two years earlier.
The two linemen, who both plan to enroll early at Tennessee in January, could help become pillars on the Vols’ offensive fronts in the upcoming years.
“Right now I’m getting stronger,” Mays said. “I’m taking my diet seriously. I want to enroll early to hopefully get on the field quicker.”
Both were all-state linemen a year ago — Mays in Class 4A and Lane in Class 5A. Both were also members of the All-PrepXtra football first team.
Mays also received the Class 4A Mr. Football Lineman award.
The two linemen talk weekly and plan to room together next season.
Right now, though, they have turned their focus to their final year of high school.
“I’m really focused,” Mays said. “I want to win a state championship. We missed out last year. I won one my sophomore year. I want one this year with my brother (Cooper Mays) on my team.
“After this season, I’m all about Tennessee.”
Mays headlines a Catholic team that fell to Fulton 46-25 in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs. The Irish are one of the preseason favorites in 5A this season.
Lane, who is the No. 24 prospect in the state according to 247Sports, anchors a Gibbs offensive line that features Charlotte commitment Dalton Widner. The Eagles finished 8-4 with a 34-11 loss to South-Doyle.
Lane said being committed to the university in his backyard raised expectations for his play this season.
“It’s motivation for me to want to play well,” Lane said. “If I have that motivation, I know I can help lead the team to big things.
“Tennessee is a dream school for everybody that’s grown up in Knoxville. If you go to my bedroom there is still a lot of Tennessee stuff on my wall. I’ve watched Tennessee football ever since I was a little kid. I’m a Vol for life and that’s how I want to end it.”
Reach Tom Kreager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-259-8089 and on Twitter @Kreager.
Published by Knox News Sentinenell at http://www.knoxnews.com/story/sports/high-school/2017/08/10/tennessee-vols-commitments-cade-mays-ollie-lane-lead-catholic-gibbs/502712001/