Vols’ offensive lineman named preseason All-American by AP

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    Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

    Tennessee senior offensive lineman Trey Smith was named a preseason first-team All-American by the Associated Press, the organization announced on Tuesday.

    The accolade is Smith’s fifth preseason All-American award. Smith was also named a preseason All-American by Athlon, CBSSports.com, Phil Steele and Sporting News. He’s also a member of the Outland and Wuerffel Trophy watch lists.

    The Jackson, TN native opted to return for his senior season on Rocky Top rather than enter the 2020 NFL Draft in an effort to obtain his degree and improve upon his draft stock.

    Smith is coming off a great 2019 campaign. As a junior, he returned from blood clots in his lungs that sidelined him as a sophomore. He didn’t skip a beat as he anchored Tennessee’s improved offensive line to earn All-SEC First Team honors behind 12 starts in 13 games. Smith was named a finalist for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award following the season and was the winner of the inaugural Fritz Pollard Trophy, given to the collegiate player who has “exemplified extraordinary courage, community values, and exceptional performance on the field.”

    The 6-foot-6, 335-pound offensive linemen signed with Tennessee as the No. 1 overall player in the country according to ESPN’s recruiting rankings in the 2017 class. Smith earned All-State honors from 2015-17 as a five-star at the University School in Jackson. He was also a two-time Tennessee Mr. Football winner.

    As a true freshman, Smith started all 12 games for the Vols. He went on to earn All-SEC Second Team and SEC All-Freshman Team honors, in addition to Freshman All-American honors from several organizations. Smith became the first Vol true freshman to start at left tackle in over 30 years when did so against Southern Miss. He led the Vols with 55 knockdowns and finished as the SEC’s top-rated freshman offensive player (80.6) according to PFF College.

    Tennessee is scheduled to begin its season on Sept. 26 against South Carolina on the road. The Vols will return home a week later to face Missouri in their home-opener.