Arguably the biggest question heading into the 2019 season for Tennessee remains unanswered: will Trey Smith be able to suit up?

The former 247Sports Composite 5-star recruit from the class of 2017 was a Freshman All-American, but sidelined as a sophomore when doctors discovered blood clots in his lungs. He was originally cleared in August 2018 and played in seven games until doctors found that the clots had returned midway into the season.

Jeremy Pruitt appeared on “The Nation” on 99.1 The Sports Animal in Knoxville on Sunday evening and shared the latest on Smith’s chances of playing in Week 1 against Georgia State.

“Our medical staff has worked really hard throughout this entire process, No. 1, to ensure Trey’s safety and health,” Pruitt said, per GoVols247’s Patrick Brown.


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“The football has always been secondary. First and foremost, it’s been his health, and we’ll continue to do that. Trey’s still involved with the team. He’s worked hard every day.

“As we get closer to the season, our doctors and training staff, they’ll implement a plan that will give him an opportunity to possibly play again.”

The Sunday update is not much different from the one Pruitt offered on Aug. 2, but “still involved” and “worked hard every day” can be interpreted as encouraging since the Vols are well into fall practice. A week ago, Smith showed that he still has the feel for playing offensive line, turning heads with an impressive “maul” of a defensive lineman.