Cole Smith Commits

Mission Viejo offensive lineman Cole Smith becomes commitment No. 16 for USC in the class of 2015. He is also the fourth offensive line commit for the Trojans.

Mission Viejo offensive lineman prospect Cole Smith created some anxiety among Trojans fans when he was offered a scholarship by USC last Monday and did not commit.

With his father having coated at USC under John Robinson and his sister having gone to USC, Smith is considered a Trojan legacy in Orange County — an area packed with Trojan alumni.

Tuesday, any second thought about where Smith would go to college vanished.

“I actually called the coaches and they were in an offensive meeting today,” said Smith. “It’s USC! They were all happy, wooing and hollering.

“I think they expected me to commit right away when I went up for my unofficial visit last week, so they weren’t sure if they were going to get me or not. But I’ve always been an SC dude and I kind of knew where I wanted to go.

“The decision wasn’t too hard.”

Recruited by USC offensive line coach Tim Drevno and area recruited Justin Wilcox, the Trojans will bring in Smith as a center prospect. After the 6-foot-3, 255-pound three-star camped with USC in June, head coach Steve Sarkisian became enamored with recruiting a pure center instead of a guard or offensive tackle convert.

“Coach Sark talked to me about that center breed, and how they’ve had some trouble converting guys at guard to be centers,” said Smith. “I can play guard, but they really like that I’m a center first.”

While the USC coaching staff was excited about Smith commitment, so was his family.

“Obviously it’s close to home, which they like, and then academically, they’re aren’t many school that can beat USC,” said Smith. “Then you have the whole alumni network, which if you can work your way into that, you can get wherever you want in life.

“Whether it be with business or wherever. Those were two big solid points that made my decision easier. And you also ave the coaching staff that really believe in you. Especially Coach Drevno, who is really invested in me.”

Smith will not shut down the recruiting process completely as his senior season approaches. Turning down UCLA, Cal, Utah, Arizona State and Yale, Smith will take another unofficial visit in a couple of weeks.

“Yeah, to USC,” said Smith. “I want to go up there again and talk with the coaches — see the team. Coach Sark and I talked about that today. Other than that, I’m fully committed to USC.”

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