We’re now under two weeks away from Tennessee’s first game of the 2019 season against Georgia State. Still up in the air is the status of Trey Smith, who started at left tackle last year before being shut down due to the return of blood clots. It was the second time Smith had been sidelined due to the issue, which first appeared during the 2018 offseason.
Smith has chosen to fight for his football career, working closely this offseason with the Tennessee staff to get back on the field. To his credit, he’s done just that — without contact. Smith has worked with the team in individual and team drills, going through very light contact drills, if any at all.
Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt gave an update on the situation on Sunday night, joining The Nation with Chris Low and Austin Price.
While stressing that @smithtrey98’s health takes precedence over football, @CoachJPruitt said @Vol_Football’s doctors were “implementing a plan to give (Smith) an opportunity to possibly play again.” Smith has been preparing all along as if he would be ready to go in the opener.— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) August 19, 2019
“Our medical staff has worked really hard to ensure Trey’s health,” Pruitt told The Nation. “Football has always been secondary. First and foremost has always been his health, we’ll continue to do that. Trey is still involved with the team, he’s worked hard every day. As we get closer to the season, our doctors and training staff will implement a plan that will implement an opportunity to possibly play again.”
Smith is a likely solution at one of the two guard positions if he’s able to play. That’s the spot where the former five-star recruit made an instant impact as a freshman in 2017. There’s seemed to be some optimism on the Smith front for the past month. In just a matter of days now, we’ll see if he can give it a go against Georgia State.