Smith Lands UCLA Offer

Cole Smith

The Mission Viejo (Calif.) center, Cole Smith, is the lone lineman offered at UCLA's camp and he talks about the Bruins and more...

Mission Viejo (Calif.) center Cole Smith (6-3.5, 265) ended a busy week with a camp at UCLA.

By the time Smith left Westwood, he had a new offer.

"I was hoping to go and compete for an offer but I was really surprised that they offered me," said Smith. "It came after the first practice. In my mind, I knew I would get a good look there. But I still was surprised they offered."

Smith had camped at Stanford in the middle of the week, camped at USC on Saturday and then wrapped it up with the Bruins on Sunday.

"I had gone up to one of their spring practices, but they hadn't really given an indication they would offer," said Smith. "Coach (Kennedy) Polamalu was recruiting me but Coach (Adrian) Klemm was who offered me. They didn't really specify but I'm pretty sure its as a center."

Smith's father, Doug, was a former Pro Bowler with the Los Angeles Rams, and ultimately coached at USC with his former Rams head coach, John Robinson.

"It's kind of funny because I'd watched UCLA growing up, but I was always a USC fan because my dad coached there and my sister went there," said Smith. "But I knew I couldn't be biased in the recruiting process."

In fact, a current Bruin helped Smith start to be more open minded about the Southland schools.

"Colby Cyburt (a former Mission Viejo lineman) was one of the ones who helped changed my mind a little bit," said Smith.

The Bruins were the fifth school to offer Smith, and the fourth from the Pac-12.

"I have offers from Arizona State, Cal, Utah, Yale and UCLA now," said Smith.

On Saturday, Smith camped at the school his father coached at when he was born.

"The USC camp was really great," said Smith. "I upped my stock a lot there. Now they want to talk with Coach Sark (Steve Sarkisian) because he makes all the decisions and they're going to have a meeting about it."

Smith admitted an offer from USC could be significant.

"I wouldn't necessarily say I'd commit or lean there, but I always loved USC," said Smith. "I know my sister and my neighbors would be pushing for them. Coach (Tim) Drevno is recruiting me because he's the offensive line coach and Coach (Justin) Wilcox is my recruiting coordinator."

Prior to camping in the Southland, Smith was in the Bay Area.

"This was actually my big weekend, so I went up to Stanford on Thursday and Friday," said Smith.

And Smith thought he fared well, though an offer doesn't appear imminent.

"I did really well up there at their full contact camp and they like me a lot," said Smith. "But I'm not sure if they'll have enough space. They did offer a center a couple days before, but they seem to think I could play guard. The coaches said they'd get back to me at least in a week."

Smith doesn't plan to make a decision anytime soon, but could make the call before he begins his senior campaign.

"I've been advised to not make it early but I think I might make it before the season starts," said Smith. "But not soon."

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