Anytime the Tennessee Vols go through a coaching search — whether it’s for a head coach or an assistant coach — fans always seem eager to see someone with a UT connection hired.

Tee Martin, Jay Graham, and Terry Fair, among others, were popular assistants at Tennessee because of their status as former Vols.

There’s a player currently on the Vols’ roster that I think could be a popular assistant coach at Tennessee at some point in the future (and maybe head coach one day?).

Senior offensive lineman Cade Mays.

Mays, who started his collegiate career at Georgia before transferring to Tennessee before the 2020 season to play with his brother, Cooper, is essentially serving as a player-assistant coach this season while holding down the right tackle spot for the Vols.

UT offensive line coach Glen Elarbee talked about Mays’ impact on Tennessee’s offensive line on Wednesday night during Vol Calls. And his comments seem to indicate that Mays has incredible potential as a future coach.

“Cade, one, is awesome because he has seen it all,” said Elarbee during his appearance on Vol Calls. “And he’s so good technique-wise, too, even explaining some things, like, you’re trying to make an adjustment, and he’s like, ‘Hey, man, relay it to this,’ and guys know instantly what you’re talking about.”

Elarbee also credited Mays with helping the Vols’ in their transition from previous offensive line coach Will Friend’s style of play to Josh Heupel’s style of play.

Featured image via Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports