It’s less than three months until the 2016 season begins and less than eight months until the recruiting class of 2017 can sign their National Letters of Intent. With fierce recruiting battles underway for the top recruits in the country, it’s a good time to get to know the players who appear poised to become college football stars in the near future. So far, we’ve analyzed Najee Harris, Dylan Moses, DeAngelo Gibbs, Devon Hunter, Foster Sarrell, Tedarrell Slaton and Austin Jackson, some of the top-rated recruits in the class of 2017, according to Scout.com. This week, it’s Trey Smith, the No. 6 player in the class.
Name: Trey Smith
Rank: No. 6 overall, No. 2 offensive tackle
Height/Weight: 6’6”/300 lbs
High School: University School of Jackson (Tenn.)
Commitment status: Uncommitted
Scouting evaluation (from Scout.com)
When you watch Smith, you see a finisher on the offensive line. He has a great frame with good feet, flexibility, and the ability to be one who protects the quarterback and opens holes for running backs. He can fire off the ball and push defenders off the ball. Plays defense as well and that shows his athleticism. Moves really well for a guy his size and will continue to get stronger and better in technique. Good pass sets with balance and control. At times, flashes good pad level, but the consistency there can improve. He has a chance to be one of the best in the country.
Smith is one of the newest five-stars in the country after he absolutely dominated at The Opening Chicago in May, earning an invite to The Opening Finals next month. Smith won nearly every rep he took in Chicago and could climb higher with another strong showing at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
Even before he added a fifth star to his name, Smith had no shortage of suitors, with reported offers from more than 20 schools. He has been busy this spring, taking unofficial visits to Ole Miss, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Alabama, Tennessee and Clemson, and Mississippi State, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Georgia and Auburn are believed to be in the mix, too. Smith will be back in Tuscaloosa this weekend after attending camps with Ole Miss and Tennessee earlier this month. Where he will end up remains unclear and likely won’t be settled anytime soon. Smith plans to take his official visits this fall before announcing a decision.
How he fits
There are ample reasons nearly the entire SEC plus many of the biggest programs across the country are battling for Smith’s commitment. He is one of the top prospects not just for the college level but for the NFL as well, according to Scout.com’s Allen Trieu. Smith has the size, technique and athleticism to step into a starting role right away, and he’ll offer some flexibility to whatever school he chooses. He played both on the outside and in the interior line at The Opening Chicago.
Events like The Opening Finals are crucial for Smith because they allow him to compete against other elite prospects, an opportunity not frequently afforded to him at University School in Jackson, which competes in Tennessee’s Division II, Class A. But so far when on the big stage, Smith is doing everything he can to prove he’ll shine at the upper echelon of college football.