Elite 2014 Prospect Gets USC Offer

Long Beach Poly (Calif.) junior athlete John Smith picked up an offer from his childhood favorite, and it could be a matter of the two local schools battling it out...

"Man, I couldn't believe it when I heard USC offered me," John Smith said. "I haven't even actually talked to them about it. Coach Polamalu talked with Monica Kim, our academic coach, today and told me I had an offer.

"He told her I actually had the offer for a while but were just now telling me about it. I thought she was joking with me at first but when she told me she was serious, I was in shock. Since I was little, USC has always been my dream school. That's the only school I've ever wanted to play for, I've loved them forever so it's a huge deal for me."

Few players saw their stock rise more over the last half of the season like Jackrabbits two-way standout John Smith. Smith, who goes by ‘Ju Ju,' made the move to safety late in the year and made a huge impact on Poly's defense. He was already known as a potential elite receiver prospect but defense could be his meal ticket.

"I still prefer receiver but I think safety is probably my best position long term," Smith said. "Everyone is recruiting me as an athlete right now and if I had a chance to play both ways, that would be huge. I'm definitely going to bring that up and see if that can happen."

The offer from the Trojans joins earlier offers from Fresno State, San Jose State, UCLA and Washington. Expect several more to come in as Smith is a definite top 100 player nationally and a likely top five player in the region. At this time in his recruitment, it sounds like it's going to be tough for anyone to beat out the two local schools.

"USC and UCLA are way out in front," Smith said. "It is going to be hard for anyone to beat them out because they're the two local schools and I want to stay close to home. I still plan to go through the recruiting process and I want to take my trips but I really like both schools a lot.

"With USC, like I mentioned, I grew up a die hard fan. I love their tradition, they're old school, I like how they still use the same uniforms and don't need to do anything gimmicky. I think Lane Kiffin is doing a good job and they're bringing in a great recruiting class.

"UCLA is coming on and they were one of my first offers. Coach Mora has totally changed the program around in one year and they have a great class coming in right now as well. I also like the DB Coach, Demetrice Martin and I just like how the team plays. It's going to be a real tough decision but I have a long time to think about it before I need to make it."

Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 15 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for Scout.com/FOXSportsNext.
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