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There are numerous stories around the Super Bowl about perseverance and achieving life long dreams. For Kansas City RG Trey Smith, he has gone from overcoming the odds at Tennessee, to working Super Bowl LIV, and now playing for an opportunity to win his first ring.
For Smith, his time playing at Tennessee was filled with a few road blocks on his path to playing in the NFL. These road blocks had nothing to do with his play on the field, it stemmed from blood clots that were found during winter workouts in 2018. The unfortunate situation led to Smith missing Spring practice, while many speculated as to if he’d ever get to play football again.
Continuing To Play At Tennessee After Blood Clot Scare
The Tennessee medical staff, including specialists from all over the country were hellbent on figuring out a solution for Trey, which included blood thinners. He played during the 2018 season, thanks to a medical regimen his doctors came up with before the season. Unfortunately, he missed the final five games that season after doctors were worried that his clots had returned.
This wasn’t the case, after extensive testing to explain the situation. Trey was beloved by the Tennessee fanbase, not only being from the Volunteer state, but how he attacked his medical scare, while representing the team he dreamt of playing for. But this wasn’t a normal circumstance, which made the appreciation for what he had done even greater.
It was during the 2019 season where the medical staff and the family of Smith felt confident he could make it through the entire year with a strict plan for his medications. This was the breakout point for where Smith shined, earning first-time All-Southeastern Conference honors. He accomplished these goals, while dealing with a medical situation that was taxing, having to miss certain practices during the week of games as well.
There was thought that Smith would enter the NFL Draft, but wanting to honor his late mother by finishing his degree, he returned to Tennessee for the 2020 season. This turned out to be the year that Covid forced the SEC to only play a 10-game schedule. But, he didn’t allow the situation to effect his game, making the All-SEC team once again, proving he was ready for the NFL.
Trey Smith Worked Super Bowl LIV At Tennessee, Now Playing In It
The upcoming Super Bowl has made this journey for Trey Smith come full circle. Right after announcing he would return for another season at Tennessee, Smith had the opportunity to work Super Bowl LIV, working behind the scenes with the NFL. Whether it was working at the NFL experience, to helping setup the certain events around the stadium, Smith got the opportunity to participate in the NFL’s biggest event as a senior at Tennessee, working with his classmates on the trip.
After being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft, he turned out to be one of the biggest steals that weekend. Teams were worried about his health, but he had it under control, with no further blood clot issue. So, as he entered his second NFL season in 2022, he has become a dominant force along the offensive line, protecting Patrick Mahomes.
“Being able to watch this organization as a spectator, then have the opportunity to play in it as a player is a blessing.” Smith told OutKick on Wednesday. I’m thankful to be able to be a part of it.”
For a young man from Jackson, Tennessee, making the NFL is one thing, but having a chance to win a Super Bowl is a dream come true. What he has done over the past two seasons in the league has proven teams that didn’t draft him earlier wrong.
Now, for Smith, he returns to the Super Bowl, not as a worker at the NFL skills challenge, but as the starting right guard with a chance to hold up the Lombardi Trophy.
Not bad for a young man whose football future was in jeopardy just four years ago.