Vols Football: 5 Most Interesting Things We Could Learn In Opener

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 30: Head coach Butch Jones and quarterback Joshua Dobbs
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 30: Head coach Butch Jones and quarterback Joshua Dobbs /
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Tennessee Vols
JACKSONVILLE, FL – JANUARY 02: Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrates with players during the TaxSlayer Bowl against the Iowa Hawkeyes at EverBank Field on January 2, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Tennessee Volunteers defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 45-28. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

Is Trey Smith The Real Deal?

One of the things that’s held Tennessee back the last several years has been their offensive line.

There weren’t a lot of positives in the Derek Dooley era, but offensive line play was consistently above average. That was thanks to offensive line coach Sam Pittman.

When Butch Jones was hired, Pittman wasn’t retained. Jones instead brought Don Mahoney with him. Under Mahoney, the offensive line play regressed.

Jones finally cut ties with Mahoney this off-season. Walt Wells, a candidate for South Carolina’s offensive line coaching job this past off-season, was promoted from offensive assistant to offensive line coach.

Wells will have plenty of experienced players to work with this season, and he’ll also have the top 2017 recruit in the nation — Trey Smith.

Smith is listed as Tennessee’s starting right guard, thanks to a solid spring/fall camp. His teammates have raved about his size and strength. But will he be able to deliver on the hype when it matters?

Next: Week One SEC Game Picks And Score Predictions

I think he will, but he’s going to have to prove it.

And week one against Georgia Tech will be his first chance to prove he’s the real deal.