The one player the Volunteers could not afford to lose moving forward will sit out the spring, as rising sophomore Trey Smith has been ruled out by Tennessee. His exact condition has not been publicly disclosed, but the program remains hopeful that he will be healthy enough to compete in the fall.

Friday, Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt offered up an encouraging update on his best player, noting that Smith worked out with his teammates on Thursday. He also added this comment on the hulking offensive lineman from West Tennessee.

“Trey’s had some personal health issues,” Pruitt said on Friday, according to Austin Price of Volquest. “Just getting some information and there isn’t a whole lot of information yet, but we will know more going forward.”

Considering Smith is still able to participate heading into spring, albeit in a limited and heavily-monitored capacity, is a great sign for the program. Tennessee’s lack of offensive linemen will be one of the biggest storylines of the spring in Knoxville and very well determine the success or failure of Pruitt’s first Tennessee team.

If Smith is eventually cleared to return as a full-participant in the fall, there’s little doubt he won’t slide immediately back into the starting lineup for the Vols heading into the 2018 season opener against West Virginia.