Trey Smith literally just return to full-contact practice. And according to reports, it seems like he hasn’t missed a beat. The one Tennessee football player to actually garner any recognition, Smith was clearly the sole bright spot for the offense last year.
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As a freshman, he lived up to his billing as one of the top recruits. The guy was an All-SEC blocker and achieved national recognition. Then he was held out of spring ball and contact practice for the first half of fall camp as he had to recover from blood clots in his lungs. But he appears to have a clean bill of health.
With that bill and the fact that he apparently hasn’t missed a step, there’s no reason to believe that Smith won’t be even better this year. You can bet that he should build off of that this year as the one proven staple on the offensive line.
The move to a pro-style should allow Smith to thrive even more. His versatility makes him one of the best players on the team since he can line up at tackle or on the inside. But he’s clearly better as a guard, so this allows him to block more for a power running game. And that’s a huge deal.
The offensive line has lots of unproven bodies, but only Smith has shown that he can be a regular so far. That makes him not just one of the best players on the staff but also one of the most crucial. As a result, the only question to this is why he isn’t higher.