Smith: A Leader Emerges

Tyron Smith, the 6-6, 265-pound offensive tackle prospect from Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde, who was named the Nike Camp MVP, and a Top 100 national prospect, talks about his two favorite schools -- UCLA and USC -- and one emerging with a lead...

Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde offensive lineman Tyron Smith (6-6, 265) notched a second straight MVP selection at the Los Angeles Nike Camp on Saturday.

"It wasn't as new for me but it doesn't get old being MVP," said Smith. "It was a lot of fun, though. The toughest guy was the dude from Compton (UCLA committed DE Datone Jones)."

The athletic tackle was just named to Scout's National Top 100 and he's added another big offer in recent weeks. "Florida just offered me as a tackle," said Smith. "I think I have like 10 offers now."

For Smith, though, it's still a battle between the two Los Angeles programs and USC has emerged as the leader. "Kind of right now, USC has the lead over UCLA," said Smith. "I'm probably going to go through the whole process. I think it will be a couple more months and closer to Signing Day when I decide."

Smith has been to several of USC's spring practices, including the Trojan Huddle a week ago and he said he'd likely be returning to the USC Linemen Camp this summer. Next up are plans to visit UCLA's spring practice.

The two schools have a different idea of where they want him to play.

"UCLA offered me as a tackle while USC offered me as a lineman because they may want me to play guard for them," said Smith. "Everyone else has offered me as a tackle. I'd like to play tackle, but I'm open to anything."

With USC and UCLA the two frontrunners, Smith said the only other schools he was seriously considering at this time were Arizona and Florida. "I could look at some new schools if they offer," said Smith.

Smith said he would possibly be attending the Combine next weekend at the Home Depot Center.

Academically, he acknowledged that he's doing work in the classroom to ensure he fully qualifies, but said that shouldn't be a problem.

Smith was an all-CIF pick and all-state underclass selection in 2006 as an offensive lineman.

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