Tennessee athletic department spokesman Zach Stipe confirmed Smith’s issue Tuesday. ESPN first reported that Smith was diagnosed in February with blood clots in his lungs.
The ESPN report says Smith has been cleared to play this season but will be held out of contact until he comes off blood-thinning medication, likely sometime around mid-August. Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt already had said during Southeastern Conference media days two weeks ago that Smith, who earned second-team Associated Press All-SEC honors as a freshman last season, would be ready to play this fall.
When Smith missed spring practice, Pruitt cited a medical issue without going into specifics.
Tennessee begins preseason practice Friday and opens the season on Saturday, Sept. 1 against West Virginia in Charlotte, N.C.