Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt said Monday that the Vols will appeal the NCAA’s decision to deny offensive lineman Cade Mays‘ waiver to be eligible immediately this season after transferring from Georgia.

Mays, a junior, started in 18 games during his two seasons at Georgia and was projected to be a mainstay in Tennessee’s offensive line this season. Pruitt expressed frustration that Mays’ initial waiver was denied.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty there, and I hate it for him and hate it for every young man and woman who wants to transfer,” said Pruitt, who pointed out that he was a transfer in college. “I’m for the one-time transfer [rule]. My question is: Why should we stand in the way of a young man or woman trying to figure out where the right place is for them? Right now, that’s not the rule, and I hope eventually it will be the rule.”

Mays played his high school football in Knoxville, Tennessee. His younger brother, Cooper, is a freshman offensive lineman at Tennessee.

“I know everybody that has transferred from our place that I have written a letter of recommendation for them to the NCAA and requested that they be approved for immediate eligibility,” Pruitt said. “I know it’s frustrating for Cade, and it’s frustrating for our team.”

Mays’ father, Kevin, was an All-SEC offensive lineman at Tennessee in the 1990s. He filed a lawsuit last December against the University of Georgia, the UGA Athletic Association and several other entities. Kevin Mays’ right pinkie finger was caught in a folding chair and severed during Cade’s recruiting trip to Georgia in 2017.

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