football Edit

Mayes relationship with the Vol staff growing as he visits Rocky Top again

Raleigh, N.C. offensive lineman Mitchell Mayes is already plenty comfortable with the Vol coaching staff. Saturday marked his fourth trip to Knoxville since Jeremy Pruitt and his staff have been hired.

“It was just hanging out,” Mayes said of his latest trip. “We ate first and just hung out with the coaches. I spent time with coach (Will) Friend and coach (Brian) Neidermeyer and I finished up the trip visiting with coach Pruitt.

“I wasn’t really looking for much. I was just working on growing my relationships with the coaches,” Mayes offered

One of the relationships that is growing is Mays' connection with offensive line coach Will Friend. Mayes said over the last couple of months, he and Friend have spoken a lot more and he likes what he hears.

“He seems like a good guy,” Mayes said. “I am planning on coming back in the spring for a practice to see how he coaches.”

The visit in the spring could be an official visit, too, as the 6-5, 315-pound linemanplans to sign in December and enroll next January. The 4-star tackle isn’t necessarily looking to make a decision soon, but he is planning on making sure recruiting isn’t cluttering things for him deep into his senior season.

“I just want to focus more on my team this season and not have visits be a distraction,” Mayes offered.

While he doesn’t want visits to be his focus in the fall, it has been his focus since the start of the year and will continue to be that way the next couple of months.

“I will be at Wake Forest next weekend,” Mayes offered. “I have been to NC State, UNC, and Clemson this year. I will probably be Duke and UGA in late February. I will see Auburn in March, and FSU in April.

“Come April, I will stop the unofficial visits. I’m using the unofficial visits to pair down the list to 5-7 schools that I will focus on. I’m sure Tennessee will make the list.”

On Saturday, the message to Mitchell is one he has heard frequently and one he will continue to hear from the Vols.

“They want me and they need me to build a great O-line with guys like Wayna (Morris) and Chris (Akporoghene) and hopefully Darnell (Wright),” said Mayes.

Of course, Mayes got to visit with Wright who was in town for his official visit along with Morris who is already in school at Tennessee. Mayes also knows Quavaris Crouch a little bit as well who he also visited with.