Tennessee junior left guard Trey Smith and senior safety Nigel Warrior were named to the Associated Press All-SEC First Team on Monday morning.
Smith, who was named to the AP’s All-SEC Second Team as a freshman in 2017, started 11 of Tennessee’s 12 games this season. The Jackson, Tennessee native didn’t start in the Vols’ season opener against Georgia State, but he anchored a UT offensive line that only allowed 20 sacks on the season, which ranked in the top-half of the SEC.
The former five-star prospect from Jackson, TN has consistently been Tennessee’s top offensive lineman this season. He earned the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week award after the Vols’ 20-10 victory over Mississippi State, and he’s consistently graded out as one of UT’s top performers on the O-line this season.
Blood clots in Smith’s lungs were discovered after the 2017 season, and Smith missed all of spring practices in 2018. The 6-foot-5, 325-pound lineman was cleared to play in fall camp of 2018, but his blood clots resurfaced and caused him to miss the final five games of the 2018 season. After consulting doctors and finding a way to proceed with treatments, Smith was cleared for action again in fall camp of this year, and his junior season has been unmarred by medical issues.
SEC analyst and offensive line guru Cole Cubelic slotted Smith on his personal All-SEC First Team O-line last week.
On defense, Warrior earned first team all-conference honors after a stellar final year at Tennessee. The senior safety picked off four passes over the course of the regular season, and he started in all 12 games. His four interceptions are tied for second in the conference, while his 68 tackles are the second-most on the team. This season marked the third-straight year in which Warrior has started all 12 games at safety for the Vols.
Warrior entered his senior season at Tennessee with one career interception in his previous three years with the Vols. This season, he has four picks and a career-high 11 passes defended.
The last Vol to be voted as a First Team All-SEC performer by the AP prior to his year was Derek Barnett in 2016.
The last time Tennessee had two Vols make the AP All-SEC First Team was in 2011, when former defensive end Malik Jackson and wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers were recognized as first team performers.