Chad Simmons

Tennessee lands 5-star OL Trey Smith

It's time for Tennessee to celebrate. The top-ranked prospect in the state and a road grader of a blocker said he will be a Volunteer.

It's cold, gloomy and rainy in Knoxville this Tuesday, however, in the coaching offices on Rocky Top, there are hugs and high-fives all around as Tennessee celebrates.

Trey Smith verbally committed to the Volunteers and joins the roster in January.

The Scout five-star prospect made his decision known on national television at a ceremony at the Blankenship Theater on Tuesday afternoon. Smith is the South’s No. 7-ranked recruit and No. 1 in the Volunteer State.

"After careful thought and consideration and prayer daily, I'll be attending the University of Tennessee," Smith said on ESPNU.

Tennessee was the choice over finalists Alabama, Clemson, Mississippi, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

"Really, I'd say it was the players to a certain extent," Smith said of his reasoning. "A lot of guys and especially the O-line room, we just have a great relationship. The things (Tennessee) coach (Butch) Jones has in place to be successful not only in football but in regards to life after football, they're excellent. Picking on being an in-state guy, the abilities after football, what I can do for myself, my family, I mean you really can't turn them down.

"I'm just really ecstatic about the city of Knoxville. I love it. I just had a really good feel for that city in regards to other cities. It was just the right fit for me. It's the right place for me."

Alabama’s Nick Saban, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Tennessee assistant coaches all visited the Smith home on Monday night on heels of Smith’s official visit to Knoxville over the weekend.

Smith gives Tennessee 24 commits for its 2017 class, including eight from within the state. He joins safety Maleik Gray (52), defensive tackle Eric Crosby (88), running back Ty Chandler (96) and cornerback Cheyenne Labruzza (198) as Scout 300 members heading to Rocky Top.

Tennessee's "branding" was another reason why the Big Orange was the school of choice.

"A big thing coach Jones pushed on me was building your brand," Smith said. "He really made that pretty integral in my recruitment — what Tennessee can do for my brand. You know I think the opportunities at Tennessee are really unlike most schools. The things in place like a TV studio in the bottom (of the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center), a media room for SEC. These are large, integral steps to being an elite program. I really feel like they can do it. We are going to do it, excuse me. We'll make Tennessee again."

The 6-foot-6, 299-pounder was a three-year starter and team captain in high school and graded out at 95 percent his senior season.

"There's plenty to work on," Smith said on ESPNU. "Honestly, I need to get my hand placement a little bit better. Footwork can be a little bit cleaner. A lot of times I overset, so I need to fix that up. I think if I fix those up and work hard every day and really develop, I can do well for myself."

The two-time Tennessee Titans TSSAA Division II Class A Mr. Football Lineman of the Year graduates from University School of Jackson this month. After Christmas, Smith heads to Lake Buena Vista, Florida, to practice and prepare for the Under Armour All-America Game presented by American Family Insurance at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, on Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. Eastern.

http://www.scout.com/player/192573-trey-smith?s=7

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