UA Game: Braden Smith
Arguably the most impressive looking offensive lineman participating in the Under Armour All-America Game is five-star offensive tackle Braden Smith of Olathe (Kansas) South. Other than Smith's head-turning frame, evident this week has been his quick feet, tenacity, and athleticism. "I think it's going very well," Smith said. "I have been evaluating myself against competition each day, and I'm doing even better than I though I would be. Coming out here really brings out the competition and brings it up a level." Smith is playing for Team Nitro, which also features five Notre Dame commitments, including fellow offensive linemen Alex Bars and Sam Mustipher. "I don't think I can name one defensive (lineman) that is standing out, they are all just really good," Smith said. "I like playing with Jacob Bragg (Kansas) Alex Bars (Notre Dame) on offense." Smith has yet to take an official visit, but that will soon change. He will visit Notre Dame on Jan. 17, Texas A&M on Jan. 24 and TCU on Feb. 1. He will also official to Auburn, but has yet to finalize a date to see the Tigers. "I just want to get the feel again of what it's like (at Notre Dame)," Smith said. "I liked it the first time, but the second time will make sure." "Notre Dame has great tradition, it's a small campus so I can get around easy," Smith added. "I don't want to be in a giant city. The football stuff is all right there. They're balanced on offense." The 6-foot-6, 292-pound offensive tackle maintains contact with Notre Dame assistant Bob Elliott. "I talk with (Coach Elliott) about every three weeks because I don't really like talking on the phone," Smith said. Smith plans to announce on Signing Day. A variety of factors will play into his decision. "There are so many things I will take into account, I can't even name them all," Smith said. "Coaches and academics and how I fit into the school and offense." Smith's older sister is a student-athlete at TCU. "She doesn't really talk to me about it," Smith said. "My family just wants me to make my own decision." Smith is a five-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 2 offensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com.
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