Smith Focusing On Football, Not Visits

All's been quiet on the Josh Smith front. Outside from a few sacks and a blocked kick, he hasn't made a ton of noise, at least in recruiting terms. The highly regarded center, as of Tuesday, hadn't set a single official visit date.

Back in the day, good athletes were three season players. Typically, basketball, football and basketball were on the docket for the best athlete at a particular school. Nowadays, our kids are specialists.

Some fear injury (as LeBron James did) while others must make career choices such as Glen Davis and Marcus Spears. For Kentwood (Wash.) High's Josh Smith, it was a personal decision to play football.

"I'm 17 years old," Smith said of his decision to play football. "I'm not even a young adult."

He is, however, a towering basketball prospect which most programs – coast to coast – would like to get their hands on. However, he made the decision to play football with a few stipulations.

"I wanted to play but I did not want to play O-line. I didn't want to play tackle or guard. When I played in 8th grade I was d-end and tight end. Our linemen got knocked around, they get cut. I didn't want the pressure on my knees. With tight end and outside linebacker I can kind of throw them out of the way. Linemen can get taken out of nowhere."

At 6-foot-9, he's the biggest linebacker we've heard of but he's having fun. Admittedly, he's still learning the plays. He's got a few sacks and a blocked kick to his credit. His friend, junior Tony Wroten made the same decision to play football this year only his season ended early with an injury.

"When I heard about it I thought it was unfortunate," Smith said. "People texted me and I told them I'm not Tony, I'm Josh. I stuck with it this summer and I'm not going to quit because he got hurt. I can get hurt just as quick playing basketball as he did playing football."

Basketball is what will get him onto a big time campus in the fall of 2010. He conducted home visits with UCLA, Washington and Oklahoma. Smith said those schools called the most and made the highest percentage of his games last summer.

While speculation seems to follow Smith, he's only now getting acclimated to his senior year of high school. His school started nearly three weeks late because of a teacher's strike.

While his peers are taking visits, he's lining up for football Fridays. "I'm trying to schedule some but right now I have none lined up really. I've been doing football this year. We're 4-1, top in our league."

So, how much thought has he even put into his basketball decision? "Right now I'm not going to lie. I haven't been thinking about recruiting. I think I'll focus a lot more during the basketball season. I've got football six days a week. I'm just trying to live out being a kid."

Smith has never been to Oklahoma. He visited (and toured) UCLA's campus during a stint with adidas Nations and of course, he's been to UW quite a bit as the local school.

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