Tennessee Vols offensive line coach Glen Elarbee met with reporters this week and he had plenty of great things to say about UT center Cooper Mays.

Mays, the younger brother of former Vols offensive lineman Cade Mays (now with the Carolina Panthers), is poised to be a key player for Tennessee in 2022.

Elarbee believes Mays is an incredibly smart and extremely tough player, making him a perfect option to be the “captain” of the Vols’ offensive line.

Tough and smart are two great qualities for an offensive lineman to possess.

“He’s a tough son of gun, both him and his brother,” said Elarbee of Mays this week. “The guy loves the game of football. He loves the physicality part of it, will absolutely throw his body around, and is just old school in the fact that you try to tape it up and keep on going. He’s done a great job this camp.”

“I think his offseason was even better than the previous one,” added Elarbee. “I think Coach (Kurt) Schmidt did a great job with him. He’s stronger. He’s able to lift and sit some things down that he wasn’t doing last year. He’s freaking smart, way smarter than his coach.”

It certainly sounds like Mays, who will be a junior this season, is more than ready to be a key leader for Tennessee this season.

It also sounds like Mays, along with his older brother, has a future in coaching once his playing days are over. We’ve heard multiple comments from various coaches/talent evaluators about how smart Mays is as a football player. It’s not a surprise to hear Elarbee praise him as “freaking smart”.

Mays wasn’t as highly recruited as his brother, but he should still have a future in the NFL after his time at Tennessee is done.

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