Tennessee offensive lineman Trey Smith has been cleared by doctors to play in 2018 after he was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs in February.
In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Smith said he’s eager to get back on the field and understands the risks of playing. Smith said after consulting with specialists and doctors, it was determined that the best way to treat his condition was with a six-month course of blood-thinning medication, followed by baby aspirin.
“I’ve never been in this situation before, so I’m just ready to get back out there and really play football again, to hit somebody again,” Smith told ESPN. “When I first got the verdict back in February, I understood the severity of what was going on. But it was comforting that everybody at UT just kept telling me that it wasn’t about football, but about my well-being and my life, and not when I was going to get back. They were concerned about me as a person.”
Smith was ESPN’s No. 1 overall prospect in 2017 and a key cog in Tennessee’s offensive line. He will be held out of contact until he comes off of the blood thinners.
Tennessee opens the 2018 campaign against the West Virginia Mountaineers on Sept. 1 in Charlotte, N.C.