Hype surrounds Tennessee football offensive lineman Trey Smith. The Volunteers sophomore is a preseason first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection.
There wasn’t a lot of love for Tennessee football in the 2018 SEC Media preseason picks. But the love the Vols did get seemed to be a bit heavy, and that is definitely the case for the one All-SEC pick from Rocky Top.
The Vols had the second fewest All-SEC players in the conference this year with just one. Only the Vanderbilt Commodores had fewer, with none. But that one player, Trey Smith, is a sophomore who was a first-team All-SEC pick on the offensive line.
We weren’t even sure until this week at SEC Media Days if Smith would be able to play this year. He had a medical issue that kept him out in the spring, and Jeremy Pruitt had to confirm Smith’s health when he took the podium.
Smith being healthy makes him a legitimate first-team pick. He was the one bit of consistency for Tennessee football last year en route to their worst season in school history. But it’s still a bit ironic since the offensive line unit as a whole was one of the biggest weaknesses on the team and part of the reason they finished last in the SEC.
The bit of irony that exists there falls right in line with the fact that the Vols are picked to finish sixth in the SEC East but still managed to get a first-place vote. But it’s what makes this team a complete question mark heading into its first season with Pruitt at the helm.
Smith is a player everybody loves on the offensive line, and he has the intangibles. With the right coaching, he figures to thrive, so there’s nothing wrong with him making first-team All-SEC. But Tennessee football will need a lot more help if it’s going to win anything or even make noise this year.