Tennessee football: Trey Smith an Athlon preseason All-American

Another outlet is high on the Tennessee football Volunteers offensive lineman for 2020.

It’s hard to find an outlet that’s not high on rising Tennessee football senior guard Trey Smith. One day after Smith and Cade Mays were both placed on the Outland Trophy preseason watch list, Smith made another All-American list.

This time, Smith was named a First-Team Preseason All-American by Athlon Sports for 2020. As he enters his senior season and is once again expected to play guard, the two-time First-Team All-SEC starter is clearly expected to take his play to the next level.

There were three All-American teams listed by this outlet, and Smith was the only player to make any of them from Tennessee football. Although other people have had their eyes on Mays and linebacker Henry To’o To’o as well, it’s not shocking for Smith to be there.

Back in January, Smith shocked the world when he decided to return for his senior season. His two All-SEC honors were the only two full seasons he started at guard, and one of them was back as a true freshman in 2017, when he earned Freshman All-American honors.

In 2018, the 6’6″ 335-pound product of University of School of Jackson in Jackson, Tenn. started at left tackle and was on track to earn All-SEC honors again. However, blood clots that kept him out of full offseason workouts in 2018 and 2019 cut short his 2018 season in late October.

With a method in place for him to be able to play and his emergence as a star, Smith enters 2020 with ridiculously high expectations. Although the return of Brandon Kennedy and transfer of Mays are big reasons for hype behind the line, Smith is the star of the group.

Taking all this into account, Tennessee football’s offensive line is looking a heck of a lot better heading into 2020 than it looked when Jeremy Pruitt first took over in 2018. Smith being on Athlon’s list of All-Americans is just further proof of that.