Connor Smith Weighing All Options

Cincinnati Colerain offensive tackle Connor Smith will likely make his decision this summer, but says he does not have a leader at this point. We caught up with Smith for the latest on his situation.

Offensive lineman Connor Smith from Cincinnati Colerain is one of Ohio's top prospects in the 2006 class.

The 6-5, 295-pound Smith has an impressive list of scholarship offers. Ohio State offered at junior day in February.

"They're one of my favorites right now," Smith said of the Buckeyes. "I like them a lot."

He is also strongly considering Michigan and a few others, but says he does not have a favorite at this point.

"I like a lot of schools," Smith said. "LSU, Georgia and Florida would be on there too. Right now, I don't really have one that is sticking out ahead of the others. I'm just enjoying the recruiting process right now. I'm just trying to keep all my options open, but Ohio State is definitely high on my list."

Smith's father – Joe Smith – was an offensive tackle at OSU from 1979-82 and started 36 games for coach Earle Bruce.

"When I was growing up, I've always been a Buckeye fan since I was a little kid because my dad played there," Smith said. "Around the house, you were just a Buckeye fan, you know what I'm saying? Since they were on the TV all the time, that's who you rooted for. But I just grew up all around Ohio State with my dad's background. My family loved the Buckeyes. I've been to a few games up there."

But Joe Smith is doing his best to stay out of the way when it comes to recruiting. He is there for support if his son needs it, but is the opposite of a control freak.

"My dad's been, from day one since the recruiting process started, he's told me that it's my decision 100 percent, and he'll support me no matter what route I take," Smith said. "I mean, he's not one of those types of fathers that says, ‘This is what I want you to do.' He's open to what I want to do and will support me whichever way I go. There's no added pressure for me to go play football at Ohio State just because he did."

Joe Smith had a chance at a pro football career after his college playing days, but decided to go to veterinary school at OSU instead.

As for Connor Smith, he had an impressive 2004 season at tackle on Colerain's 15-0 Division I state championship team.

He will probably stay at tackle in college, but could also play guard.

"Oh yeah, I'm sure I could. I played guard when I was younger," he said.

Smith has also dabbled at defensive tackle in high school.

"This past year, I played D-line in certain situations, like we call it ‘guts,' but goal line," he said. "I played D-line here and there. But I am not a two-way player."

Smith benches 315 pounds and his best 40 time is 5.1 seconds.

When asked to give his strengths as an offensive lineman, he said: "I'd like to think that I'm an effort guy. I give a lot of effort on every play. That would be my number one strength."

And weaknesses?

"I want to get a lot stronger," Smith said.

Ohio State has a nice start to its 2006 class with Akron Garfield running back Chris Wells and Coldwater linebacker Ross Homan. But Smith doesn't pay attention to where other players are going.

"The only thing I'm really concentrated on is winning another state championship," he said. "I don't get really caught up in all the recruiting. Who else is doing what. It won't affect me one way or the other as far as my decision."

Smith wants to make a decision sometime before (or during) August.

"I'd like to make my decision definitely before the season," he said. "I think you can expect a decision from me before the football season starts, the first game. Really, I wouldn't be surprised if I made my decision before school lets out this year (in early June). So, I'm somewhere in between that range. Probably over the summer I will make my decision. My parents and I will have to sit down and talk about it and see what's best for me."

Smith is not sure which football camps he will attend this summer. But Colerain coach Kerry Coombs sends a lot of his players to Michigan and that is one stop Smith is sure to make.

"Really, to be honest with you, I have no idea all the camps I'll be at," Smith said. "I know we have a team camp we go to at Michigan that our coach takes us to. He takes a bunch of guys up to that camp. But other than that, I'm not really sure. I'll probably go to Ohio State's though."

Don't look for Smith to graduate high school early and participate in a college spring practice in 2006.

"I haven't decided for sure, but I'd like to finish out high school," he said. "We'll have to make a decision when the time comes, but I don't think I'll graduate early. I'm just going to enjoy my senior year."

Smith has a 3.2 GPA and has not taken a college entrance exam.


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