USC in the mix with Peach State speedster

With an offer list that most recruits would love to have, Washington HS (Atlanta, GA) 4-star defensive back Branden Smith is not set on making a decision anytime soon. An offer from the University of South Carolina has piqued the interest of Smith, but how big of a factor are the Gamecocks in the race for his services? Read inside to find out.

As the summer camp circuit is rolling right along, Branden Smith, the nation's no. 11 ranked cornerback according to, has made his presence known at a few stops thus far by turning in a pair of blazing forty yard dash times.

"I've camped at Clemson, UGA, Auburn, and at the Scout Combine at the Georgia Dome," said the speedy defensive back. "I only worked out at the Auburn camp and at the Scout Combine. I ran a 4.28 and 4.19 forty."

With nearly thirty scholarships to his credit, including tenders from almost every SEC school, Smith clearly possesses the tools that most college coaches look for in a DB. Even though it's technically a limited contact period, Smith said schools are continuing to show him the love this summer.

"Coaches can only call once a month, but I hear from all of the schools that have offered me at least once a month."

Smith, whose most recent offer is from Virginia Tech, said he has not yet eliminated any schools and doesn't have a list of favorites.

"All teams are even right now. I didn't grow up liking any school more than the other. I just love to watch college football."

One school that is firmly in the mix for Smith's services is the University of South Carolina, and the elite prospect shared his thoughts on the Gamecock program.

"I'm open to everybody, but I know USC is a good program (and a) good school with very good coaches. I know they also have a very good football team coming back next year."

According to Smith, he hasn't set up any visits for the near future yet, but he does hope to check out South Carolina at some point.

USC and several other schools are recruiting Smith as an athlete that could potentially play on both sides of the ball.

"All of the schools are recruiting me to play DB, wide receiver, and special teams. They all say they want me on the field."

Coach Ron Cooper is Smith's recruiter for the Gamecocks, and the electrifying prospect is starting to build a relationship with the veteran coach.

"Coach Cooper and I have an OK relationship because at the time he can only call me once a month. I know he will be getting in touch with me a lot more in August when he can call more."

With so many options to choose from, Smith plans to take all five of his official visits in order to learn as much as he can before coming to a decision.

"I want to take all five of my official visits first. I am going to commit at the All-American Game."

Smith knows what position he is most comfortable with, but he is willing to play any position asked of him at the next level.

"I want to play any position that will help the team win, but I know my money is at cornerback."

With Smith's senior season just around the corner, he discussed how his talents will be utilized on the field this fall.

"I play pretty much every position. The coaches just want the ball in my hands because of my speed."

Smith, also a track standout in high school, ran a 10.56 100-meter dash in the AAAA state championships this year - the 5th fastest time in Georgia state history. He is also a standout in the classroom as he boasts a 3.0 GPA.

Stay tuned to for all the latest on Smith's recruitment.

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