Vols
Trey Smith Rips The NCAA Over Eligibility Decision On Cade Mays

Trey Smith met with the media on Tuesday afternoon. He discussed the upcoming season and displayed strong displeasure with the NCAA.

The waiver appeal of Cade Mays came up during the media appearance. The conversation seemed to spark a fire into Trey. He didn’t hold anything back on his thoughts on the subject.

Smith mentioned that he always wanted to play with Cade Mays. He also mentioned that he didn’t appreciate why it took so long to find out if Mays will play.

“In terms of Cade, I have always wanted to play with Cade since high school, following each other over the years and staying connected. Then finally, we get to the point where he comes back home. We thought we were going to get to play with each other, and then seeing a decision that is basically trying to shoot down the hard work and discredit this kid, who, at the end of the day I mean he’s coming to work every day, and he’s busting his butt, and he’s going to practice. The people making this decision are just sitting in the meeting room just drinking coffee and looking at the paper. So, it is really asinine, to say the least, and we are talking about a season where eligibility doesn’t even matter, and you are not going to clear this kid?”

Smith spoke about his ability to practice more in the 2020 season.

“In terms of me being able to practice, I have gotten to practice a lot more this year than last year. Obviously, I think last year, I only practiced two times the entire year in full pad practice. One actually counted for the bowl game in Jacksonville, so I’ve been able to practice a lot more full pads, so I’m a lot further than I was this time last year in terms of my skills and development. I am very thankful, and I thank God for that.”

This is a great sign for Tennessee. Anytime a team can have their leader on the field is a great thing, especially during the craziness of Covid. Having the same offensive coaches for consecutive years can’t be understated, especially for a group of seniors who’ve had a rotating door of coaches over the past four years.

“I think it’s made a huge difference. I was thinking about certain things like after the year on how certain things play out, and just thinking about not having to think in-depth when I’m actually playing and just play naturally and do things without fully thinking it out, it sounds weird. Still, it’s the first time I’ve had that happen since high school. My relationship with Coach (Jim) Chaney is really good; I trust him. I understand the plays and what he is trying to accomplish. As a team and unit, it’s just going to help us even more having that consistency, especially for Jarrett (Guarantano), having that consistent offense he can work on and develop.”

Tennessee has been hit hard in Covid and contact tracing along the offensive line. Multiple players have missed a good chunk of practice time.

“It’s next man up mentality; we have to get ready and prepare for South Carolina,”

Smith said that freshman Javontez Spraggins is taking advantage of every opportunity presented.

“In terms of younger guys, (Javontez) Spraggins definitely left an impression on me. He has a love for the game that a lot of the time younger players have when they first get to college, a certain passion of wanting to be great and doing the right things and trying to be consistent. He has a lot of things to learn, but as a freshman, who doesn’t look at that point? But Spraggins reminds me of someone who taught me everything I know in Jashon Robertson in terms of how he plays the game and presents himself on a daily basis, and I’ll be honest, the future is very bright for him if he stays on that path.”

Javontez has been getting a good amount of reps with the 1’s and 2’s during scrimmages over the past week, something Trey Smith knows they’ll need from this group.

We’re just over 10 days away from the 2020 SEC season beginning, and as Trey Smith noted, he doesn’t believe it will feel normal until right before kickoff.

“I don’t think it’s ever going to feel normal until I’m in the hotel room eating a pregame meal. And even then – no fans.”

The Vols will be back on the practice field Tuesday afternoon.

Continue following Fox Sports Knoxville for coverage of Fall Camp 2020.