Smith Has Three Favorites

Since returning from injury, Malcolm Smith, the 6-2, 215-pound athlete from Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft, has proven he's one of the elite prospects in So Cal. He talks about his recruiting, his official visits, and now says he has three current favorites...

Since making his return to the field after sitting out three games, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft linebacker/running back Malcolm Smith (6-2, 215), is showing why he's been such a hot commodity on the field for several colleges.

Smith, the 5th ranked weakside linebacker nationally by, has been a terror from his running back spot, helping the Toreadors right their ship and build the momentum necessary for their run at the City Section title that eluded them last year.

"I feel a lot better and we're starting to click," said Smith. "I've been focusing on staying healthy and getting ready for the playoffs."

That focus has kept Smith from taking any trips since an official visit to Notre Dame, which he took in mid-September. As it stands right now, no other official trips have been scheduled for Smith, but he has two in mind that he knows he will take.

"I'm going to check out Cal and Penn State," said Smith. "Arizona and Michigan are the other two schools I might visit, too."

Hometown schools UCLA and USC, where his brother Steve is having an all-American senior season, will likely get an unofficial visit from Smith.

"I don't really have a favorite school right now," said Smith. "USC, UCLA and Notre Dame are probably in front, then Penn State and Cal."

Smith said that he would take all five of his official visits before deciding and his decision wouldn't come until likely late December or early January.

He had planned to attend USC's home contest with Oregon this weekend.

In the Toreadors season opener against Crenshaw, Smith was off to a good start, carrying the ball 12 times for 72 yards. But he suffered an ankle injury that sidelined him for the next three games. When he came back, it took him a couple of games to hit his stride, though against Birmingham, he scored a pair of touchdowns.

The Chatsworth game, though, showed he was back. Smith rushed for a career-high 288 yards and scored four touchdowns while recovering a fumble and taking it back for a touchdown in the 38-31 win.

"It was just good to get back out there and play the way I know I'm capable of," said Smith, who's rushed for 698 yards in six games and is averaging nearly 10 yards a carry.

One of the most athletic prospects in the West in this class, Smith clocked a 4.44 forty at the Combine and jumped 36.5 in the vertical, while measuring 6-2 and weighing 211 pounds. As a junior, Smith rushed for 639 yards on 73 carries and caught 26 passes for 399 yards. He also added 41 tackles at the linebacker position.

Academically, he has a 3.3 GPA and said he scored a 1600 on the new SAT.

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