It’s not that often that the star of your offense is an offensive lineman, but that could very well be the case for Tennessee in 2018. As they return to their power, I-formation looks on offense, freshman All-American Trey Smith should blossom into something even more special.
Smith burst onto the scene against Georgia Tech as a guard, immediately making explosive blocks and springing John Kelly to daylight. Smith is expected to do more of that this season playing for a new staff, though we aren’t yet sure what spot on the line he will occupy.
First things first, however. Smith has to get fully healthy and return to football activities. The rising sophomore missed all of spring practice due to what was called a “medical issue.” He is expected to return in the fall for camp.
College Football News places Smith as the 9th best interior lineman in college football, but also says he should be higher if he’s healthy.
9. OG/OT Trey Smith, Soph. Tennessee
Is he healthy enough? If he is, go ahead and put him higher. Is he going to work at tackle or guard? He was one of the few bright spots for the Vol offense last season as the top blocker, but he was out all spring with a medical problem. Expected to be back, if he is, and if all is well, the 6-6, 320-pound all-star will be the star of the offense no matter where he plays.
Smith is the highest ranked underclassman on the list of 50. He’s the only non-upperclassman to appear inside of the top ten.
Where Smith plays this year will be a big storyline to follow throughout camp. Elite offensive line talent with length like Smith’s usually ends up playing left tackle, which has to be on the table at this point. Tennessee doesn’t have any obvious answers at that position on the roster, outside of Drew Richmond. Richmond’s inconsistencies could force him elsewhere, however.
Regardless of where Smith ends up, you can probably bet the bulk of rush attempts will be following big No. 73 this fall.