Tennessee received the news it was hoping for on July 31st when it was announced that sophomore offensive lineman Trey Smith had been cleared to play for the Vols this Fall after missing all of spring practice with an undisclosed medical condition.
ESPN’s Chris Low reported the medical issue, stating that Smith had undergone treatment for blood clots in his lungs.
Smith’s health, first and foremost, is the most important thing. There is life after football and it sounds like he is certainly in a better place today than he was back in April.
From a purely football point of view, Smith is crucial to Tennessee’s chances of doing anything in 2018. He started every game in 2017, becoming the first true freshman to start at left tackle at Tennessee in 30 years. He is versatile, also starting at guard last season. ESPN rated Smith as the number one overall prospect in the county for the Class of 2017, and he didn’t disappoint.
He was maybe the only positive for an offensive line ravaged by injury and inexperience a year ago. If that group is going to protect Keller Chryst and Jarrett Guarantano, open up holes for Ty Chandler and give Marquez Callaway time to get down field, they desperately need Trey Smith to be his dominant self.
(You can follow Mark Nagi on Twitter @MarkNagi)
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