Tennessee’s star offensive lineman suddenly has a decision to make. After his entire football career was in jeopardy just a few months ago, Trey Smith has battled back to his dominant form, powering the Tennessee offense up front. It took a few games, but down the stretch, nobody in the SEC was as dominant as Smith was in the trenches.
With that top notch play during his junior year, the NFL is obviously interested. But his blood clot issues have complicated the situation, likely costing him a chance to be a high pick. Most mock drafts have Smith landing in the second or third round, simply because of the risk factor.
Should Smith accept that fate and go for it this year? Or try and prove that he can put together back to back healthy years and play his senior season?
Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt admitted that he and Smith have discussed the matter, but nothing has been decided just yet.
“We have, and it’s something that we’ll sit down when this game’s over with and talk about again,” Pruitt said on Sunday.
Smith is a former five-star recruit, starting at Tennessee from day one at guard. He’s battled blood clots in his lungs over the past two offseasons, forcing him to the sidelines during offseason activities. Smith battled back to play in a handful of games in 2018 before the blood clots returned, ending his season. He played in every game in 2019, starting the final nine games at guard.
He’s got one game left this season, then he plans on sitting down and making this complicated decision.
“Right now I’m more focused on beating Indiana and making sure we have a good game plan,” Smith said. “I don’t really look down the road too much. Whenever the game’s over, you know, I’ll be able to discuss that a lot more.”