He may have missed the spring due to injury. And we may have three other offensive linemen on here anyway. But Trey Smith is a crucial player for Tennessee football. He was one last year, and he’ll be one again this year.
There are already major concerns with Smith’s health due to this offseason. And that is why him being so high on this list comes with even more concern. How can one of the top guys the Vols can’t afford to lose also be one of the biggest injury risks? That’s a horrible combination.
However, it’s the hand that was dealt to Jeremy Pruitt. Tyson Helton and Will Friend will just have to pray that Smith stays healthy. We’ve already addressed all the depth issues on the line. There’s a reason that each of the linemen we named made it on here.
Chance Hall and Drew Richmond are the only tackles to have proven they can play there. Brandon Kennedy is the only guy with the appropriate experience to play center. Smith, meanwhile, is the only returning lineman who played all last year for the Vols and was great while doing it. He may be the best player on the team altogether.
The only preseason All-SEC player from Rocky Top, Smith made the first team. He was one of the few bright spots for an otherwise atrocious line last year. As a result, Tennessee football needs him ready to go as much as possible. there are just too many questions up front.
On top of Smith being the best player on the line, he’s also another player who is the only proven one at his position. Hall and Richmond are two proven tackles. Smith is the ONLY proven guard on the roster. He’s also versatile enough to play tackle if absolutely necessary. So yeah, he’s one of the top players the Vols can’t afford to lose and the top lineman they can’t afford to lose.