Trey Smith is the class of 2017’s top recruit, per ESPN, and we got a chance to talk to the highly sought-after offensive tackle.
Trey Smith is a 6-foot-6, 299-pound senior at the University School of Jackson in Jackson, Tenn. As ESPN’s top recruit, the young man has offers from 25 Power 5 conference schools including the likes of Alabama, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Clemson, USC and Ohio State just to name a few.
ESPN has Smith listed as a five-star recruit with a scout grade of 93 while 247 Sports has him listed as their No. 20 overall recruit and a five-star prospect as well. He has not committed to a university at this time, but has announced his top-six:
Top 6‼️? pic.twitter.com/0dvvd709fl
— Trey Smith™ (@smithtrey98) July 10, 2016
Smith took some time to chat with us and answer a few questions about what it’s like being the top recruit in the nation, his skill set, what he’s like off the field plus how and when he will commit to a program.
The Spun: Take me back to the moment when you first learned that you were ESPN’s No. 1 recruit in the nation. How did you find out, what was your reaction and how long did it take for it to sink in?
Trey Smith: Funny story, I was playing Xbox and my dad informed me. I sorta shrugged it off and kept playing to be totally honest with you. It didn’t really sink in until I started going places.
The Spun: When did you have your “aha moment” realizing that you could block anyone in the country and if all goes to plan go to a ‘Power 5’ school?
TS: I realized I must be pretty good after receiving my first scholarship offer from The University of Mississippi at age 14. I realized I could block anyone in the country after attending Nike’s The Opening.
The Spun: University School of Jackson is not a big school in terms of student body. The high school has under 400 students and is a Division II -A school. What do you say to the people who criticize you on that point and may say you haven’t been put to the test enough?
TS: Simple, to all the people who doubt me simply go into more film that I have. I’ve played a plethora of Division I talent in high school. Ive played against the likes of Greg Emerson and Emmit Gooden – two four-star defensive ends and excellent players. I’ve also attended Nike’s The Opening which is an elite football camp for top high school prospects across the country. I attended that not only my senior year but also my junior year. Very few offensive linemen can say that.
— Trey Smith™ (@smithtrey98) July 11, 2016
The Spun: Footwork, footwork and more footwork is what any recruiting website preaches as the strongest point of your game. Where do you think that came from? Does it just come natural to you? What’s a part of your game that doesn’t get enough credit?
TS: I think my footwork is really a product of the great football program USJ has. My coaches always emphasized that it can take me wherever I want to go. The better feet, the better lineman. One part of my game that is underrated I’d say is my toughness.
The Spun: College football recruiting has almost become more popular than college football games themselves. You’re pretty active on Twitter, I’m guessing you like keeping up with the fans of various schools around the country?
TS: Nick Saban I think honestly said it the best. My dad asked him, “coach with all these great players on your team like Derrick Henry or the past greats like Mark Ingram, how do you keep them focused and also keep their attitudes in check?” Saban replied, “it’s simple, they haven’t really accomplished anything yet.”
Those words really sunk in to me. The world believes players like that are at the penultimate of sports, but in reality their careers are just starting, they haven’t played a down in the NFL. So as a high school football player I have no reason to be conceited or cocky based on the opinions of an uninformed fan base.
The Spun: If you had to describe yourself off of the field, how would you do so?
TS: I’d say lighthearted, sort of a goofy guy. I just love having fun and hanging out with people. My next love is definitely video games.
The Spun: You recently released your top six schools on Twitter. What are you looking for in these schools to separate themselves?
TS: I’ll have to evaluate all six schools according to: Strength and success of program in past, the careers and possibilities in life after football, relationship with coaching staff, overall feel of program, facilities, and distance from home.
The Spun: I have to ask about Tennessee seeing as how you live in Tennessee and the Vols are in your top six. Where were you when you saw the Hail Mary play against Georgia?
TS: I was in my living room watching. I’m not going to lie, but I counted them out when Georgia scored that last time. When [Josh] Dobbs threw it and I saw how the Tennessee player was in good position I knew they had a chance. When it showed that they scored my house erupted. My aunts and cousins were at my house and it was crazy. It helps them out for sure.
The Spun: Are we going to have to wait until National Signing Day to hear your decision or do you plan on committing early to a program?
TS: I will decide on December 6th at USJ. I want to wait until then especially since I’m enrolling early in January.