According to one of his Tennessee teammates, Jacques Smith has been “the best defensive lineman we have so far this spring.”
Unfortunately, the Vols won’t have the best their line has to offer as Derek Dooley‘s second spring practice with the Vols comes to an end this weekend. Fortunately, and hopefully, that shouldn’t be the case by the time summer camp rolls around.
Dooley confirmed Thursday that the sophomore defensive end has a foot injury and will miss UT’s annual spring game Saturday. Smith suffered the injury near the end of practice Wednesday.
The worst-case scenario, Dooley said according to the Knoxville News Sentinel, would keep Smith out of action through June. Such a timeline would have Smith back in plenty of time for the start of camp and mean he would “only” miss some strength & conditioning work. That work, though, is a fairly big deal to most coaches.
“You train year-round, so any time a guy gets hurt it’s a setback,” Dooley said. “It doesn’t have a lot to do with weight as much as strength levels and training, the mental conditioning, there’s so much into it.
“When you’re not working out and training, you’re getting behind because your competitors are (getting ahead).”
Last season, Smith played in all 13 games. This year, he will be penciled/Sharpied in as a starter entering camp.