Impact Report: 2021 OT Colby Smith

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    Every time Tennessee gets a commitment in either football or men’s basketball, we will write up an impact report looking at what that recruit does well, what we feel can be improved, and what his projected impact with the Vols could be over the next few years.

    Latest Commit: Colby Smith, OT
    Height/Weight: 6-foot-7, 295 pounds
    School: Rockingham County (North Carolina)
    Home Town: Reidsville, NC

    247Sports Composite: 
    No. 374 overall, No. 32 OT
    247Sports: No. 138 overall, No. 19 OT
    Rivals: 5.5 rating

    Notable Offers: South Carolina, North Carolina, NC State, Louisville

    What we like:

    Colby Smith has a perfect frame for an offensive tackle at the next level. He’s very tall and athletic, moving well for being such a huge lineman. He has plenty of room to add more weight and still move quickly as a blocker. I really like what Smith does in the run game, as he gets to show his aggression and strength the best while blocking for the run. He has a lot of potential and has all the tools to develop into a physical, impressive lineman. He also plays defensive line in high school, giving him an unique edge. I like the ceiling for Smith, and I think Tennessee’s coaches can get the most out of him. He has a good foundation of skills to build off of.

    Places to improve: 

    There’s a lot of upside for Smith, but he’s also still fairly raw as an offensive lineman. He’ll need to work on his footwork and improving his first step as a pass blocker. I’d also like to see him engage more and attack defenders rather than waiting for them to get to him in passing situations. He has the strength and size to bully defenders when pass blocking, and I’d like to see him do that more often. He does it more regularly as a run blocker.


    Right now, I don’t see Colby Smith as an immediate starter or threatening Tennessee’s offensive tackles for their job when he first steps on campus. He has some techniques to learn and must sharpen his footwork and get more consistent. But there’s tons of upside there for him, and he projects exceptionally well at the next level. He has the ideal size and arm length for tackle, and I like when he shows aggression and attacks when run blocking. He just needs to do that more often and get more consistent as a pass blocker. Ultimately, I think Tennessee won’t need him to contribute as soon as he steps foot on campus, and that’s a good thing both for Smith and for the health of the program. Getting to sit a newcomer for a year is where UT is trying to get to, unless they’re a truly elite talent.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.