1. Will Trey Smith get healthy?
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We did our projected starters assuming Trey Smith will be healthy. But Tennessee football’s entire season on the offensive line could be wrecked if he’s not. Smith eliminates a major concern for the Vols at left tackle, and he allows Jeremy Pruitt more flexibility to keep the line stable.
Smith can play blindside tackle or, if injuries take a toll, guard. Remember, with Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright, he is not under as much pressure to stay at left tackle this year. As a result, his return will change everything.
2. Can Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright become impact players?
This is another prediction we made ,but it is a question. Wanya Morris stood out in the spring, and Darnell Wright is a five-star. With Smith’s injury status in limbo, Drew Richmond transferring and Chance Hall retiring, the Vols need immediate help at tackle.
Wright and Morris are the guys to provide that help. Will Friend clearly did a good job developing Morris in the spring, but now he needs to be able to develop Wright. Doing that will cut down on any issues the Vols have here.
3. What does Brandon Kennedy’s return mean for the line’s improvement?
If Brandon Kennedy can stay healthy and Trey Smith returns, Tennessee football should immediately see a dramatic improvement on the line. But Kennedy’s impact on that remains a bit of a question.
After all, we don’t know if Kennedy is good enough yet to allow Ryan Johnson to stay at guard. What if he struggles? He’s only played one game for the Vols in his career. Kennedy needs to play his role well. It will make life much easier then for Jarrett Guarantano and the rest of the linemen.