Nation's top recruit, five-star OL Trey Smith commits to Tennessee
Tuesday was a good day for Butch Jones and his Tennessee football program.
After chasing in-state University School of Jackson five-star offensive lineman Trey Smith for years on the recruiting trail, along with Ole Miss, Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Notre Dame and a host of other elite football programs, the 6-foot-6, 310-pound Smith finally donned the orange Tennessee cap during an ESPN nationally televised commitment ceremony at his high school.
So what was it that made Smith ultimately chose Tennessee?
“I’d say it’s the players, to a certain extent,” Smith said on ESPN. “A lot of guys in that O-Line room, we just have just a great relationship and the things Coach Jones has in place to be successful, not only in football, but in life after football, they are excellent. You can’t really turn them down. I’m just ecstatic about the city of Knoxville, it’s the right place for me.”
The Under Armour All-American is rated as the No. 1 overall prospect in the nation by ESPN while ranking as the No. 4 prospect by 247Sports. Smith is also a two-time recipient of the Mr. Tennessee football award – given annually to the state’s best player per division.
If you follow recruiting closely, you know all about last offseason’s circus of satellite camps spearheaded by Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. Well, Tennessee got in on the action in June, holding a linemen camp at Smith’s University School of Jackson school. Not only did the Tennessee staff come along but several notable NFL linemen who all went through Tennessee before making it in the pros took part in the camp, as well.
Despite all the effort and preparation put into the satellite camp to recruit one prospect, the move proved to pay dividends for Tennessee on Tuesday.
While landing the commitment of a five-star prospect is cause for celebration regardless of the circumstances around the program; this recruiting victory has to feel extra special for Tennessee head coach Butch Jones. Smith’s commitment proves that the nation’s elite continue to have faith in his Volunteer program, something that could have been in doubt had Smith committed to Ohio State or Alabama over his in-state program.
Smith closed his ceremony by offering up some hype for the Tennessee faithful pledging, “We’ll make Tennessee elite again.” If the huge lineman lives up to the incredibly hype, that’s much more likely today than it was yesterday.
Tennessee now has 24 commitments lined up in its 2017 recruiting class, with Smith becoming the third offensive lineman to pledge to the class. Smith plans to enroll in school early in January to participate in spring football and get a jump start on the 2017 season.
Want to see what all the hype is about? Check out some of Smith’s high school highlight tape: