Trey Smith cleared by medical professionals to play football

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT.)-- Offensive lineman Trey Smith was sidelined in late October of 2018 after physicians discovered the recurrence of blood clots in his lungs. Since then, Smith has been seeking treatment to deal with the clots in hopes of being able to return to the field for the Vols.

Smith has been participating in practice on light duty during fall camp. News came Wednesday afternoon that Smith had been cleared by medical professionals to play football.

Smith will play on the offensive line Saturday when the Vols open the season against Georgia State. Smith’s return to the field should help bolster an offensive line that will be critical to Tennessee’s success this season.

"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 game day," 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."

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.

Copyright 2019 WVLT News. All rights reserved.