As Tennessee goes through its first spring practice under new coach Jeremy Pruitt, it will reportedly do so without a major player on offense: lineman Trey Smith.
According to Volquest.com, Smith is dealing with a health issue and will be sidelined during the spring. The report by Austin Price and Brent Hubbs cites sources saying he is expected to be back in time for the 2018 season.
Smith was a freshman All-American for the Vols and started games at both guard and tackle. His start against Southern Miss on Nov. 4, 2017 made him the first true freshman to start at left tackle for the Vols in 30 years.
Without Smith, Pruitt’s job of earning the trust of the locker room and putting a winning product on the field early in the season is a lot tougher. Even if he does make it back in time for fall camp and the start of the season, he’ll miss valuable reps with his teammates throughout the spring.
Despite his youth, Smith emerged as a locker room leader at the end of last season. Following Tennessee’s loss to Vanderbilt, he had strong words and a promise for 2018’s expectations.
“We’re not allowing this to happen again,” Smith said a few months back. “We’ll just remember this moment, the multiple moments, that we’ve had this season, the letdowns. I think it’s time for everyone to lead and hold each other accountable.
“We will be great leaders in the locker room … We will come back better, I promise that.”
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