Another day, another moment to signify the collapse of Tennessee football.
This time, the destruction came in the form of a tweet — Knoxville native and 5-star offensive lineman Cade Mays announced via Twitter that he was retracting his commitment from Tennessee.
“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Please respect my decision. pic.twitter.com/ANvoIpP1Bf
— Cade Mays (@_mayc2) November 7, 2017
If I was a betting man, I would put all my eggs in the Mays is gone for good basket. With programs such as Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and Clemson heavily pursing his services — along with the fact he likely wants to be an early enrollee — it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where John Currie is able to lure Tennessee’s former top recruit of a now-depleting 2018 class back to Knoxville.
It’s a devastating blow for a program that has a bright future on offense, but it’s a wake up call that needed to happen.
Currie’s overall silence over the Butch Jones situation has cast a dark cloud over a program in desperate need of sunlight. While it’s absurd to believe that Currie is doing nothing and simply letting the Butch Jones era play out, it’s also equally as absurd to keep Jones around at this juncture.
Now that the games are essentially meaningless, life in Vol Nation consists of the following question: How much more suffering must the dedicated and passionate fans of the Orange and White go through for someone to pull the trigger?
It clearly wasn’t after a pathetic 17-13 win over UMass, or an embarrassing 41-0 shutout loss to Georgia at home, or a pair of losses to South Carolina and Kentucky. The alarm that’s signaled the end of Jones’ tenure in Knoxville has been going off for weeks, and on the surface, Currie appears to be hitting snooze.
Now, something has to change.
Real action must start taking place if the Vols ever want to reach their immense potential. Next season, Team 122 will feature Jarrett Guarantano, Ty Chanler, Carlin Fils-Aime, Trey Smith, Marquez Callaway, Tyler Byrd, and Brandon Johnson. Assuming Jones’ hire is an adequate one, Tennessee’s offense should rise from bottom of the barrel to one of the upper-echelon groups in the country.
If the higher-ups in the athletic department aren’t rattled by Mays’ departure — which they should be considering how much he appears to love the University — then they need to open their eyes. Clemson has a stranglehold on elite Knoxville recruits, Alabama will continue to Alabama under Nick Saban, and the Kirby Smart train in Georgia is well ahead of schedule and is showing no signs of slowing down.
This all existed before Mays opened up his recruiting on Tuesday, but if Currie and company can’t see it now, then Neyland Stadium will continue to turn a blind eye to an elite football program.