Did QB Earn An Offer?

Oklahoma quarterback Paul Smith just returned from Penn State's camp. Was his solid performance enough to earn an offer from the Nittany Lions?

Name: Paul Smith
Position: QB
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 174 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.75
School: Owasso High School, Owasso, OK

Paul will be a third year starter for Owasso this year.  More than likely, he will become Oklahoma's career passing yardage record holder midway through his senior season.

"I think I'm around 1,300 yards away from the Oklahoma all-time passing record," Paul said.  "I don't know exactly how much I have, but the record is just over 7,000.  I think it's 7,100.  Cale Gundy holds that record.

"I threw for 2,700 yards and 21 touchdowns as a junior.  I threw for 3,077 my sophomore year, with 27 touchdowns.  We won the state championship that year and played 14 games.  We only played 12 last year.  I led the state my sophomore year in passing.

"My sophomore year, I was named a Fox Sports High School All-American and then I was named to Street & Smith's Top 50 Juniors in the nation."

"We're mostly a shotgun team, but we run a lot of option plays too.  My strength is throwing it, throwing the out route, come backs and all of that.  Arm strength would probably be my strongest attribute, but I feel that I see the field well too."

How strong is his arm?

"I've thrown it 65 yards before on the sidelines a couple of times, but I could probably throw it 70."

Paul's father, Ron Smith, is the head football coach at Owasso.

"I've grown up in football.  My dad's been a coach my whole life and my brother was an All-Stater in Oklahoma.  I grew up watching him and that kind of helped.  Plus, we've always watched highlight films.  I've been around the game my whole life.  [My brother] got a full ride to a Division II school in Oklahoma, the University of Central Oklahoma.  He'll be a redshirt sophomore next year."

Paul, of course, aspires to play quarterback for a Division I school.

"I have two official offers, from Harvard and West Point."

He listed "Penn State, Toledo, Tulsa, Kansas and Missouri" as other schools interested.

Paul has been busy the last couple of weeks participating in several summer camps.

"I've been to camps at Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, our whole team went to the Tulsa University team camp, and then I went to the Penn State one."

He and his father made the long journey east this past weekend to State College, Pennsylvania.

"I've always wanted to go to Penn State my whole life.  They're probably my number one choice right now.  In 7th and 8th grade, I started just wearing Penn State stuff and kind of keeping up with them.  I guess I just felt like it was meant to be and now I'm finally getting a chance, so it's cool."

Smith enjoyed his trip to Happy Valley.

"I liked it a lot, it was awesome.  We got there Sunday afternoon and the camp was Monday through Wednesday.  I talked to pretty much every coach on the staff throughout the course of the week.  I got to meet with Coach Joe Paterno the first day I was there.  Me, my dad, Coach Paterno and Jay Paterno his son, the quarterbacks coach, met in Mr. Paterno's office for probably 30-45 minutes.  He had a lot of nice things to say.  He just asked me about the year and talked about Penn State, the tradition and everything they have to offer.

"They're just going to take one quarterback this year.  I haven't been offered by them yet.  They're not going to offer any quarterbacks until after all of their camps are over with and they have two more sessions.

"I did real well this past session.  I think I did as well as I could.  I threw the ball well and was real happy with how I performed."

Paul is not sure whether or not he will attend any more camps this summer.

"I don't know, I don't think I'm going to go to any others.  It's been about 2 weeks straight now.  I'm just kind of waiting to see what happens with Penn State.  There are a couple of other camps in mid-July that I might go to, like Alabama's.  If Penn State doesn't offer me, I'm probably going to go to Alabama's camp in July.

"Penn State told me they'd be talking to me sometime in the next 2 weeks just to let me know where they stand.  They've been straight-forward with me from day one on where they stood, how many guys they had and who they liked and stuff."

Note: Paul indicated that there were around 800 kids at the 1st session of Penn State's camps.

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