2002 Incoming Freshman Marcus Smith

Arizona has lost it's share of recruiting battles to USC over the years, but the ones that the Wildcats have won generally have come down to the final day of decision and more often than not paid big dividends for Arizona football.

Like Lance Briggs, who appeared at his signing news conference with two different letters before donning an Arizona cap and inking with the Cats, San Diego product Marcus Smith went down to the final hours before making his decision and the reasons should give Wildcat faithful reason to be proud of their school and their program.

CT:  How many times have you been to Tucson since signing?
MS:  I watched spring game.  It was real good.  I watched the DE's on both teams, to see who I'm going to be playing with.  To give me an idea of what I'm going to be facing when I get there.
CT:  Do you get the feeling that the staff is looking at you possibly playing as a true frosh?
MS:  It would be great to play as a TF (true freshman), but I'm not going in with the expectation, but if I can handle it, I'll do it. 

CT:  What have the coaches told you to work on to get ready for next year?
MS:  They told me to work on things strength-wise, and to make sure I'm mentally ready in case I do play.
CT:  Did you get a chance to meet any of the guys who are playing on the team at defensive end right now?
MS:  No, I didn't get to meet any of the guys that are there now.

CT:  Were there some other recruits that you got to meet at the spring game?
MS:  There was a real big tight end from Texas (Matt Padron) from Texas and I remember a defensive back (Gary Shepard) who was a little guy, but he looked real strong.  I remember talking to him.  And, I also remember a real big offensive tackle (Tanner Bell).

CT:  Marcus, after we talked about a week before signing day it looked at the last like you were wavering a bit.
MS:  Yeah, I was wavering there.  I had both of the papers here at the house for signing and it came down to that night, the night before and I just talked about it with my family and decided Arizona would be better.

CT:  What were the main factors that came into play?
MS:  The three main things that Arizona had over them were the coaches;  we--my family and  me-- think they are better people like off the field.  And two,  USC is not in a very good area so the atmosphere would be better at Arizona and third I just think I'd get a better chance to play at Arizona.

CT:  The coach who recruited you to Arizona, you really liked him didn't you?
MS:  Yeah, I really liked Coach (Steve) Bernstein and Coach (Marty) Long.  Those two are more than football coaches that I can see.  They are good people.

CT:  Have the coaches talked to you about any of the subtle changes they've made to the defensive scheme?
MS:  No, I hadn't heard too much about the changes on defense.

CT:  So what have you been up to since signing day?
MS:  I am mainly just doing school and I play basketball every now and then.  I couldn't play in tournaments once I signed a National Letter of Intent.

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