Trey Smith
Trey Smith, #73, celebrating with fans at Kroger Field after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday, November 9, 2019.

He's coming back.

Star Tennessee offensive lineman Trey Smith announced that he would return for his senior season Thursday instead of declaring for the NFL Draft.

Smith was a star from the second he arrived on Rocky Top, starting all 12 games in 2017. Smith was a rare bright spot as a freshman during Butch Jones final year in Knoxville earning SEC All Freshman team honors.

Following his freshman season doctors found out that Smith had blood clots putting his football future in jeopardy.

Smith started eight games as a sophomore before blood clots reappeared and ended Smith's season prior to a crucial road trip at South Carolina.

The Jackson native wasn't expected to play this season for the Vols, but along with Tennessee and specialist, Smith developed a plan that allowed him to play without completely cutting out the use of blood thinners.

Smith wasn't able to practice for nearly all of preseason camp, and most of game weeks but still turned in an impressive junior season.

Starting every game at left guard Smith earned two SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week awards and earned All SEC Honors making the first team.

Smith's return gives Tennessee its whole starting offensive line back from the 2019 season as center Brandon Kennedy received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA.

With Smith coming back the Vols could have one of the SEC's best offensive lines entering the 2020 season. Tennessee also added a boost Monday as former Knox Catholic standout Cade Mays announced his plans to transfer from Georgia to Tennessee. Mays will have an uphill battle to receive immediate eligibility from the NCAA.

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