Mays, who played in all 14 games for the Bulldogs this past season, is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee. His younger brother, Cooper, signed with the Volunteers during the early signing period in November.
Their father, Kevin Mays, was an All-SEC guard and offensive captain for the Volunteers in 1994.
"As a guy with multiple years of starting experience on the offensive line in the SEC, Cade is a tremendous addition to our program," Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt said in a statement. "He's tough and he's powerful, and he is a versatile player who can line up anywhere on the offensive line. He will have an impact on the field, and he will also have a positive effect on our team and in the offensive line room with his leadership ability."
Under SEC and NCAA transfer rules, Cade Mays will have to sit out the 2020 season, but he is expected to appeal to the NCAA for immediate eligibility to play for the Vols.
Attorney Thomas Mars, who represented quarterbacks Shea Patterson when he transferred from Ole Miss to Michigan and Justin Fields when he went from Georgia to Ohio State, has been hired by Mays and his family.
According to Athens-Clarke County State Court records, Mays' parents sued the University of Georgia System Board of Regents, the Georgia Athletic Association and others after Kevin Mays' right pinkie finger was amputated because an accident involving a folding chair at the Bulldogs' team gala in December 2017. Cade Mays, then a senior at Knoxville Catholic High School, was on a recruiting visit to UGA.
According to the complaint for damages filed on Dec. 5, 2019, "Plaintiff Kevin Mays's right pinky finger was partially amputated as the subject folding chair wedged against the column. His severed finger shot across the floor. UGA Offensive Line Coach Sam Pittman [now head coach at Arkansas] picked up Plaintiff Kevin Mays's severed finger from the floor, and it was put on ice."
The complaint said Kevin Mays was transported to Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital, where he was diagnosed with partial amputation and fracture. The complaint said he is right-handed.
"At the emergency room, his pain level on a scale of 1-10 was a 10," the complaint said.
The complaint says Kevin Mays' right pinkie finger couldn't be reattached and he underwent skin-graft surgery on his hand. He continues to "suffer terrible pain and decreased use of his right hand," according to the complaint, and he is seeking $3 million for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.
Cade Mays played every offensive line position for Georgia this past season, including six starts at right guard, two at right tackle, two at left guard and one at left tackle. He played in 11 of 14 games as a freshman and was named to the coaches' freshman All-SEC team in 2018.
ESPN Recruiting ranked Mays as the No. 25 prospect nationally, No. 3 offensive tackle and No. 1 player in Tennessee during his senior season at Knoxville Catholic High School in 2017.
The Bulldogs will bring back only one starting offensive lineman in 2020, sophomore center Trey Hill. Offensive tackles Andrew Thomas, a projected first-round pick, and Isaiah Wilson, as well as guard Solomon Kindley, earlier announced they were entering the NFL draft.