Trey Smith continues to educate himself before he makes a public declaration on what program gets his talents.
On Saturday, the Scout five-star offensive line prospect made his way back to Tennessee, watching the Volunteers come from behind to win 38-28 over Florida as part of a sellout crowd of 102,455.
Smith tends to make it a point on gameday visits to pay attention to the blocking schemes and the individual players at positions he may one day play. The Volunteers totaled 498 yards against a Gators defense that statistically ranked No. 1 in the nation heading into Week 4.
“I mean they stepped up big,” Smith told InsideTennessee of the Big Orange O-line. “When the team needed them to make plays, they made plays. I think everybody did a great job on the line. It was pretty consistent. They were pretty solid out there. I loved what I saw.”
It was one of the more memorable atmospheres at Neyland Stadium as Tennessee broke an 11-game losing streak against its Southeastern Conference Eastern Division rival.
“I have been coming since I was a kid,” Smith said. “I lost count (on how many games attended at Neyland Stadium).
“To be honest, I really feel like the fans in the stadium, that really made it such a shift. I have never seen that before in a football game. I mean the second half, they made the proper adjustments and the fans on top of that. They looked unstoppable there for a little bit.”
Impressions can be left when a team plays well right before a recruit’s eyes, even though he had absolutely nothing to do with the win or loss.
“I just want to go to a winning program, so obviously a team that’s been losing a lot, I would lose a little bit of interest in them,” the Scout No. 1-rated blocker in the Volunteer State's 2017 class said.
The Big Orange rides a 10-game winning streak and a No. 11 nationally ranking into Athens this Saturday. Tennessee continues to be one of the top contenders for the Jackson native.
“I don’t want to determine yet, but they’re in a pretty good standing as usual,” said Smith, who has a top group of Alabama, Clemson, Mississippi, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee.
Look for the five-star to be in Tuscaloosa this weekend to see No. 1 Alabama play Kentucky. Official visits are on the horizon.
“No official set dates, but I have a couple in mind,” Smith said.
A college decision will be made before the second week of January as the blue-chip blocker plans to enroll in college in January.
Under first-year coach Rusty Bradley, Smith and University School of Jackson are rolling right along.
“It’s going good. We’re 5-1 right now. The team is playing well, everything is clicking, the offense is gelling, the coaches are doing an excellent job with us all,” the 6-foot-6, 300-pound Smith said.