Smythe Ready to Represent USA

When the USA Under-19 team takes the field for its first practices on Saturday, Texas commitment Durham Smythe will be in the fold.

While many other players are spending the summer relaxing, or playing 7-on-7, Smythe will don full pads and go through two-a-days, with the end result being a series of games in which the Belton star can represent his country.

"Immediately what jumped out to me was how unique it was, being able to play with not only players around the country who I'll be able to meet and play with, but players from around the world," Smythe said. "You don't get that opportunity very often, and I thought it was definitely one worth taking."

That opportunity comes with the chance to represent the USA, which Smythe said "means a lot."

"It means a lot," Smythe said. "Being someone who focuses on just football, giving up every other sport but football, obviously there aren't very many opportunities to represent your country. When you get one like this, where you can play football while representing your country, it's amazing. So I'm definitely excited about it."

With the opportunity also coming at no cost — read: it doesn't count against a player's all-star game tally — Smythe said "it leaves no reason not to do it."

And so Smythe will get a chance to line up with some of the best players in the country, playing against some of the best players from other countries. And he said he was more than willing to play the part of recruiter.

"If there's someone who needs to be talked to, I'll definitely put in the good word for them," Smythe said.

Smythe is fresh off a strong performance at Texas camp, and is deciding whether or not to enroll early on the 40 Acres. He said any decision on that front will likely come in August. He would have to take an extra class, but other than that, the rest of his credits are in-line with what is needed.

Smythe said he enjoyed the Texas camp, where he ran a 4.72 40-yard dash and spent the entire day with tight ends coach Bruce Chambers.

"I think I did get a lot better really in the mental part of it," Smythe said. "Just because learning the Texas offense, if you have a chance to get the routes that they run down, you're going to take that opportunity. I think I definitely improved, if not physically, then definitely mentally at the camp."

Smythe said that many of the routes were similar to the ones he currently runs at Belton.

"They're just called different things or there's a little hitch in it," Smythe said. "But they're a lot alike."

Smythe said he has enjoyed being a Texas commitment, and said that the 2013 class is a tight-knit group. He's especially close with Harker Heights center Darius James and linebacker Naashon Hughes, with Heights sitting on the Belton schedule. And as with previous rivalries within recruiting classes, like Dallas Skyline's Peter Jinkens and Desoto's Bryson Echols, there's a bit of friendly trash-talking going on.

"There's definitely some instances where you try to talk as much trash as possible," Smythe said, laughing. "But it doesn't get too out of hand. We're close. I like those guys. But we have to win that game to have some bragging rights."

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