Smith hearing from Huskers

Huskers are scanning the nation looking for offensive tackles. The latest tackle to pop up on the recruiting radar screen for Nebraska hails from Texas. This tackle is ready to receive his first offer and it's just a matter of time until others follow suit and pony up the offer to him as well.

Sometimes it's hard to get noticed when you play as part of a unit in which all of the other players around you are upper-classmen. While the district and state honors haven't caught up with Kyle Smith yet, his team and his coaches know what they have in him.

What the coaches at Arlington (Texas) Mansfield Summit is a 6-foot-7 and nearly 300 pound offensive lineman with an attitude. His 40 won't blow you away, but it is reasonable. He is not overly strong and isn't as strong as the others even behind him on the depth chart. What he brings to the table is attitude.

"I am pretty mean, but I am slow though," Smith said. "My attitude is what got me on the field in the first place, my coaches just liked that I was mean and played with broke fingers and stuff like that. That would probably be my biggest strength and I am pretty smart."

"Our school is just all-out running. We run the triple option and the bone. We don't pass a whole lot. I am probably built better for pass blocking, but I am one of our better drive blockers. Whenever we were pounding the ball they ran it to my side. I like run blocking and I never get to pass block, but when I get to I like it because it is something different. You get to be more physical in some ways. You can put your hands on them more."

Smith's 40 time isn't "slow" for a 6-foot-7 and 300 pound guy at around a 5.5. In fact, that time may not even be accurate because of prior injuries that were hampering Smith. His strength is something that Smith wants to get better on and he is finding himself spending more and more time pumping iron.

"I am definitely going to try and improve my strength. I have never felt weak on the field, but I am definitely not as strong as some of the other guys in the weight room. I pretty much live in the weight room so I don't think that will be a problem."

"I really toned up my diet too since last summer. I have been trying to build it up and get bigger. I was playing about 270-280 and then a couple of weeks ago I hit 305 and running faster, then I pulled my hamstring and I am down a little bit on my weight. That is the biggest thing and maybe my feet."

The workouts are just beginning for the players at Mansfield Summit. "We just went into our first phase of conditioning. We have different phases. The first phase is really Kansas State's stuff. Now we are going into a lot of, really, kick your butt and get you into shape."

Smith's season doesn't have any stats to go along with it; he didn't even earn an honor other than earning a letter for every one of his years so far in high school. "I was the only junior that even played on the offensive line. I am a three year letter winner right now. All of the guys on the line with me pretty much went to college to play ball. The right guard went division I. It's kind of hard to stand out amongst those guys as an underclassman."

A lack of honors aren't keeping some of the nation's best teams from keeping tabs on Smith who is regularly hearing from some of the top schools in the Big XII and even some of the top academic institutions in the Ivy League.

"I haven't sent the questionnaire back to New Mexico State yet, but I know that my coach was saying that they were going to offer me. He basically said that they have. I get a lot of letters from all over. I get mail from Oklahoma, Texas, and all over. I get a lot from Texas Tech, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale."

"I have a lot of interest in Texas Tech. I really like them a lot. Besides that, I don't know. If I got the chance to do it I really might go to Harvard or something like that. I'd be set for life there. I'm looking at Texas A&M. I am also looking at Missouri or Oklahoma State. I would really like to go into the Big XII. A lot of my friends went north to play football like to Wisconsin and Minnesota."

While his friends have all gone to the far North, his family is keen on one school that is a little north as well. It may be his leader right now. "I am definitely looking at Texas Tech. That is where my parents and my uncle went to school. My uncle played there and I like Mike Leech."

While he is hearing from a lot more "local" Big XII schools, that doesn't mean that the letters haven't been coming in from Nebraska. "Yeah, I get mail from Nebraska. I've never really been around anyone that has told me anything about them. They were good and they are coming back. I don't really know a lot about them, to be honest. I might have to go and visit them."

Last year Smith was dealing with injury at the time of the U.S. Army All-American combine and did not participate. "I went to Reebok All-American camp in San Antonio for the Army All-American combine. I was still having back problems. I went out there strictly for recruiting purposes. I also went to the TCU camp. All of my coaches go up and work at the Oklahoma camp during the summer. They are trying to get a bunch of us to go."

Smith is undecided about his summer plans, but he knows that there are multiple camps that he would like to attend multiple camps this summer. "I haven't really made any plans this summer. I'll probably go and hit a bunch of one-day camps. I might go a little everywhere. I haven't made up my mind on any place though."

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