KNOXVILLE — Jacques Smith was hoping he would be close to coming off his crutches and out of his protective walking boot, but the University of Tennessee defensive end from Ooltewah will spend a few more weeks with the medical accessories.
He’s expecting long-term benefits from his second foot surgery since spring practice ended.
The latest one, last week, was a precautionary measure, coach Derek Dooley said Tuesday at the SEC meetings in Florida, to correct a minor stress fracture in his left foot. Smith missed the Orange and White game in April after fracturing a metatarsal in his right foot the last week of spring practice.
Jimmy Stanton, UT’s associate athletic director for communications, confirmed Smith’s surgery to the Times Free Press on Tuesday afternoon.
“Jac’s an outstanding person. He plays hard, he works hard,” defensive line coach Lance Thompson said at last month’s Big Orange Caravan stop in Cleveland. “He’s the type of guy you want representing this institution. Jacques had an outstanding spring.
“He had a screw put in his [right] foot, but ... he’s doing a great job in the weight room and doing everything that anyone else is but the agility stuff. He’s going to have a big year this year, and I enjoy the heck out of coaching him because he’s a tough guy.”
Smith will be limited to upper-body work during the Volunteers’ summer workout program, but he is expected to be ready when preseason camp opens in August. The 6-foot-2, 245-pounder ended spring practice as one of the Vols’ starters after filling a pass-rushing role as a freshman last season.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...