Smith Enjoys North-South Opportunity

Ohio State signee Connor Smith, an offensive lineman from Cincinnati Colerain, participated in Saturday's Ohio North-South Classic. He talked about going up against OSU signee Robert Rose and also what lies ahead for him at Ohio State this fall. Click here for more.

The Ohio North-South Classic was a good experience for Ohio State-bound offensive lineman Connor Smith of Cincinnati Colerain.

Smith was a big part of Colerain's success the last two years, helping the Cardinals post a 25-2 record. But Colerain's offense would best be described as a run-first and run-second operation.

But Smith got a chance to work on his pass protection skills during Saturday's game. His South team attempted 48 passes in a game the North eventually won 34-13.

"I think I am improving on pass protection every time I come out," Smith said. "Every time I can come out and pass block, I feel I am getting better and better at it. It's something different for me. It's opposite than what we did in high school. But I like the adjustment and I like pass blocking."

Smith would have liked being on the winning side in the Ohio North-South game. But he still said the experience was great.

"Any time you get a chance to compete and come out and play, that is a great thing," he said. "I really enjoyed it."

At times, Smith went head to head with his future OSU teammate, a defensive end from Cleveland Glenville.

"I think I got out and competed," Smith said. "He is a great athlete. He is a great football player. Any time you go up against a player like that, he's going to give you a challenge on every single play. That's what he did. Hopefully, I gave him the same thing.

"We were going at it. That's the way you have to play football and the way we played tonight."

Unlike some of the signees, Smith is not enrolling at OSU for summer quarter.

"I'll be up in Columbus in July some of the time to work out," Smith said. "I have family that lives in Columbus. I am looking forward to going up there and working out."

Smith said he has had a chance to talk with OSU offensive coordinator Jim Bollman, who recently underwent heart bypass surgery.

"I haven't really talked to him as much about football," Smith said. "I didn't talk about that as much because of what happened to him. I was more concerned about how he was progressing. We didn't talk that much about football.

"He sounded like the old Coach Bollman. He sounds as strong as ever. You don't notice the difference in talking to him."

Ohio State boasts what looks like a strong rotation of seven or eight veteran linemen for the 2006 season. Smith was asked if he had contemplating redshirting this year.

"I want to do what's best for the team," he said. "They have a bunch of great guys up there. They have some great depth on the offensive line.

"I just want to go up there and compete and see what happens. I'll do what's best for the team."

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