Inland Athlete On the Move

Banning (Calif.) cornerback Derron Smith knows his future is on defense and is camping on that side of ball while taking in his share of Junior Days and unofficial visits...

Banning (Calif.) defensive back Derron Smith (5-11, 173) is using the spring to show what he can do in the secondary, after spending most of the fall starring on offense.

The three-star cornerback has offers from San Diego State and UNLV but he's hopeful that more options will materialize this spring.

Smith was at the UCLA-USC game in December then was at the Bruins' Junior Day in March and he was invited back for their Spring Game at the Rose Bowl.

"UCLA's spring game was cool, the defense looked pretty tough so I was liking that," said Smith. "Coach Wayne Moses is who's recruiting me and he said he'll be coming out during the spring, in early May, to check on me."

The Bruins are just one of a handful of schools who've been in regular contact with Smith.

"I'm hearing a lot from Washington, Nebraska, Oregon and Stanford as well as San Diego State and UNLV," said Smith. "I talk to Coach Don Pellum at Oregon and Coach Demetrice Martin at Washington and they want to see how my senior season pans out."

Smith knows more defense as a senior will make him even more marketable and he's willing to wait until then to decide.

"I want to go through that process and then make a decision sometime after my season," said Smith.

Smith was at San Diego State's spring practice as well, and the Aztecs have made a strong impression on him.

"It was nice down there, it actually kind of surprised me," said Smith. "I got to meet most of the coaches and got a campus tour and got to watch their practice. It's up tempo and they wasted no time getting after it. Coach (Rocky) Long is who's recruiting me there. Hopefully I'll get out there later this spring or summer."

Smith doesn't have a favorite, but likes the West.

"I'm keeping it open to all schools but San Diego State is up near the top," said Smith. "I'm trying to stay somewhere on the West Coast."

While he's been the main focal point of Banning's offense, Smith understands that defense is where his future is, but he's open to either side.

"I see myself on the defensive side, but honestly, I'll play on either side," said Smith. "If a coach sees me on offense, in the slot or at running back, it honestly doesn't matter to me. Wherever coaches feel is best for the team, I'll play."

Smith will camp at Washington and UCLA and will also be at the Combine later this month.

As a 2008 junior at Banning, Smith was named Defensive MVP of the Mountain Pass League and Team MVP. He was named First Team All-CIF and All-Area Honorable Mention and Second Team All-State Underclass. He rushed for 1,094 yards and eight touchdowns, passed for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns. Defensively, he had 87 tackles, nine for loss, three interceptions and a touchdown.

Academically, Smith is fully qualified.

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