Vols OL Trey Smith Cleared to Play in Season Opener

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(utsports.com) KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee has announced that Trey Smith is cleared to play in the season opener on Saturday versus Georgia State.

“My family and I consulted with several of the best doctors in the country, and a plan has been developed that allows me to compete with my teammates on gameday,” Smith said. “My family and I are confident in that plan. The coaches and staff here at Tennessee have always had my best interests at heart and I can’t thank them enough. Thanks to all of the fans and my teammates for all of their support.”

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Smith has started all 19 games he has played in during his career. He earned All-SEC Second Team and SEC All-Freshman honors in 2017 when he became the first Vol true freshman to start at left tackle in over 30 years. He collected FWAA Freshman All-America honors in 2017 and nabbed preseason All-SEC First Team accolades in 2018.

“This is Trey’s decision and our medical staff has done a great job throughout this entire process,” head coach Jeremy Pruitt said. “The main priority has been and always will be Trey’s health. Our doctors have implemented a plan that will allow Trey to play, and we are excited for him.”

Smith has been an active speaker to youth groups and elementary schools during his time at Tennessee and spearheaded a coat drive for Knoxville Area Rescue Ministry (KARM) during the 2018 season, where over 1,000 coats were donated over five days because of his efforts.

He was named to the 2018 SEC Community Service Team and is a nominee for the 2019 AFCA Good Works Team as a member of the 2019 Wuerffel Trophy Preseason Watch List.

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.