Birmingham OL Smith will be one to watch

LSU has a huge need for offensive linemen in the 2006 class and one of the nation's best tackles has his eye on the Tigers. <br><br> Andre Smith, a 6-5, 315-pounder from Huffman High School in Birmingham, Ala., is a super prospect that you will hear a lot about over the next 10-11 months.

He is a dominant run blocker that steamrolls anything and everyone in his path. As a junior, he registered over 110 pancake blocks and graded out at close to 95 percent for the season.

The list of accolades that followed Smith's impressive junior campaign is long and impressive but the honors worth noting include All-State and All-Super State. At the top of the list, though, would have to be the Super Athlete Award he took home from the U.S. Army All-American Combine in San Antonio.

You do not hear many offensive linemen refer to themselves as a student of the game but this is not your average offensive line prospect.

"My coaches always instilled practice, practice, practice while my dad always preached technique, technique, technique," said Smith, who claims to have a 3.3 GPA and will take the ACT for the first time in April. "I always watched guys at the next level to see how they did it because that is where I want to go."

Smith said he feels like he is well rounded with his blocking his skills but perhaps more important is what he sees when he looks across the line.

"I like to drive block and I am a pretty good pass rusher," he said. "I try to read the guy in front of me and watch his hands and eyes. I like to look in a guy's eyes to see if he is scared."

It did not take long for the scholarship offers to start rolling in and the two in-state powers, Auburn and Alabama, both offered early in his junior campaign. Now, he says he has offers from every school in the SEC, along with Georgia Tech, Clemson, USC and Texas A&M.

Most kids growing up in Alabama are considered virtual locks to stay in-state but that is not the case with Smith for now.

"I am open for in-state and out-of-state schools," he said. "I have not decided if I am going to stay close to home or what. I am just keeping everybody in mind and seeing what they have to offer."

LSU head coach Les Miles extended an offer shortly after National Signing Day and Smith said the Tigers have several things that he likes.

"I know they have a real good program," he said. "They won the national championship and their head coach is a former offensive lineman. They are going to have two or three first round draft picks this year so they are doing something right."

It looks like the big man has been doing a little homework on the Tigers.

"I will be keeping an eye on LSU to see what happens," he said. "They will be in the mix."

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