In an article from CBS Sports, Barton Simmons predicted the most impactful freshmen from each SEC roster. Simmons then ranked those newcomers in terms of importance. Tennessee’s Trey Smith was ranked first.
Smith — a five star offensive tackle ranked number one overall in ESPN’s Top 300 — is expected to start at guard for the Volunteers this season. The 6-6, 320 pounder has been enrolled since January. He’s up 20 pounds since arriving at Tennessee, ready for his first year of football in the SEC.
Here’s what Simmons had to say on Smith.
An early enrollee, Smith has been a standout on the Tennessee offensive line since the day he stepped on campus. While the Volunteers have found some stability and experience on the offensive front, Smith has done enough not just to unseat an experienced starter but to make that offensive line better in his first year. Smith was a five-star and the No. 4 offensive tackle in the country per to the 247Sports Composite rankings, and he's already living up to that billing.
Smith isn’t your average freshman. He should add some much needed push in the middle of the Tennessee offensive line. If the Volunteers are going to make some noise in the SEC East this season, they’re going to have to blow open some running lanes for John Kelly and company.
Who know — Smith may end up playing out at tackle before the season is over with. But Tennessee seems comfortable with him at guard, especially with the potential of playing Jashon Robertson at center this season. Either way, Smith is set to make a big impact in 2017.