KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee offensive lineman Trey Smith might be the most powerful player on the Vols football team, but people don’t need to be intimidated by him off the field.
At least, that was the message on Tuesday from the 6-foot-6, 313-pound freshman from Jackson, Tenn., when asked if he was recognized on campus.
“Every once in a while, a lot of times people are scared,” Smith said. “Just a friendly pubic service announcement, I will not eat you I will not harm you, I just want to say ‘Hi,’”
Smith has lived up to his billing as the No. 1-ranked prospect in the nation, per ESPN.com, dominating in some of the one-on-one drills despite this being a time of year he should still be in high school.
Smith enrolled at Tennessee in January, eager to go through spring drills and prepare to start this upcoming season.
Vols first-year offensive line coach Walt Wells said last week that when the inexperienced Smith “doesn’t have to think, he can really come off the ball and hit somebody in the mouth, that’s for sure.
“Trey is intelligent, he’s mature beyond his years, and he’s still learning as we go through this,” Wells said. “Physically, he is gifted, and we’re looking forward to getting him better and better.”
Smith pushed back projected starting defensive end Jonathan Kongbo in the “Circle of Life” Drill, which pits players head to head. Kongbo was the No. 1-ranked JUCO player in the 2016 signing class, and is a physical specimen, himself.
Tennessee is 10 practices through the spring football session leading up to the annual Orange and White Game on Saturday, April 22 at Neyland Stadium.
Smith said he’s still not sure what position he will play next season, and as impressive as he is physically, he’s still a work in progress.
“I’ve worked interior (guard) and at tackle, the transition is pretty tough,” Smith said. “Sometimes I’ll win a rep, and sometimes they’ll push me down. It’s back and forth, it’s college football, you’re not going to win every rep.
“I’m just trying to bring my best every day.”