(Photo from Google Images)
Trey Smith announced on Thursday that he will return to the University of Tennessee for his senior season. The level of excitement in Knoxville and to Vol fans across the county was another reminder that the future is bright.
“I made up my mind and I don’t ever expect to look back I’m going to stay at the University of Tennessee” -Peyton Manning & Trey Smith
It was hard to watch his press conference without feeling your allergies creep up on you as Smith talked about the promise he made to his mother. He promised his mother (Dorsetta Smith, who passed when he was in high school) that he would graduate from college and play in the NFL. It was a promise he will keep. He could have declared for the NFL draft and “finish” his degree later, but we all know that almost never happens. Instead of taking millions of dollars now, Smith will return to class and finish his degree in Sports Management in May.
When asked why he decided to quote Peyton Manning, Smith said “When I made my decision on coming back, I wanted to pay homage to the GOAT. That is how we do it here. He is one of the best to ever play obviously. I just wanted to bring that little piece of legacy and bring that back to Tennessee.”
The Offensive Linemen for next year will have four 5-stars and one 4-star (Wanya Morris, Trey Smith, Brandon Kennedy, Cade Mays, Darnell Wright). Name a better O-line in 2020?
The maturity of a kid to openly admit that he has more to work on to be even better is rare. Most would take the money and run to the big paycheck. Most do not value the chance to earn a free college education. But Tre Smith is not like most talented college athletes. Trey Smith is using his senior year as a way to improve his draft stock even more. He knows where he can improve and trust the coaching and medical staff to make him physically and mentally better.
How did winning the last seven of eight games impact Smith’s decision to return to the Vols? Smith said “I wouldn’t say it impacted me, but I definitely want to be a part of it. We’re building something special here at Tennessee. I believe in this coaching staff. I believe in the players we have coming. We’re building something special. We have unfinished business this next season.”
Unfinished business. I love the moto going into next season. Smith’s leadership alone will be a playmaker in the development of this team. Jeremy Pruitt said “he’s one of the best players in college football despite not being able to practice (with contact) during the season. Think about that. That’s special.”
The medical staff discovered blood clots in Smith’s lungs in 2017 forcing him to miss the end of the 2017 season and they returned again in 2018. Smith was cleared to play for this past season where he earned first-team All-SEC honors and started all eleven games. Smith has started all 32 games at UT that he has been cleared to play in. We all pray that the blood clots never return.
Trey Smith staying at the University of Tennessee for his senior season and waiting another year to play in the NFL is a hidden message of a program that has finally found its stability. AD Phillip Fulmer and Coach Pruitt have turned this shit show around and players want to stay! There is no greater compliment to a program than to have future professional stars want to stay another year of their eligibility. The future is bright. #GBO