There was no better news for Tennessee football this week than Trey Smith being cleared to play. According to Jeremy Pruitt, it’s on a week-to-week basis. But with all the questions on the Vols’ offensive line, Smith being back helps it improve significantly. He is by far the best and most proven player on the unit.
A freshman All-American guard, Smith then was the best blocker while playing tackle last year before his blood clots returned to force him out in November. Now that they have a plan for him to go, he is moving back to guard, where he is most effective. As a result, he is clearly a top impact player for the Vols, beyond anybody else on the offensive line.
Nobody is more proven than the 6’6″ 325-pound junior. The interior line for the Vols was the worst part of the historically bad unit, so moving Smith back over there should go a long way towards improving it. Sure, Brandon Kennedy being back at center is a big deal as well. But Smith is far and away the best blocker on the team.
As a result, his return is a huge deal for Pruitt and Jim Chaney. Will Friend clearly made the right move lining him up back at guard, and working with an offensive coordinator like Chaney, who is an offensive line guru, probably serves to only further develop him.