As we wrote during the offseason, the Tennessee Volunteers needed their prized recruit from the 2017 class to make an early impact. I’d say he’s done that — and then some so far in his freshman season. We had Trey Smith as our No. 10 most important player heading into the season. I’d bet he’d be much higher if we ran that poll again.
Smith was evaluated as a tackle, but was moved to guard upon arrival at Tennessee. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the Volunteers have been able to win up front consistently through three games since Smith has been in the lineup. Jashon Robertson’s move to center allowed Smith a spot to start and he’s run with it.
Pro Football Focus has some high praise for the freshman offensive lineman.
Heading into Week 4 - here's a look at our highest graded freshman through three weeks of football. pic.twitter.com/1wqyIxL4qq— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) September 21, 2017
The number one overall recruit according to ESPN has backed up his ranking in a big way through three starts. As we head into the bulk of the schedule, Tennessee is going to have to have big performances from he and the other four up front as they try to spring John Kelly forward.