The Oklahoma defensive end prospect, <b>Blake Smith</b>, returned home Sunday after an official visit to UCLA. He talks about the trip, who his leader is now, and how his recruitment might go from here...
Blake Smith, 6-3, 245, 4.7, Tulsa (Okla.) Union, said he had a fantastic time visiting UCLA and is looking forward to the coaches in-house visit. Smith did not commit, but a commitment may not be far away. "It was awesome," he said.
Asked if he had fun visiting with the Tulsa contingent of Union teammate Jared Naylor, Washington wide receiver Robert Meachem and defensive lineman Chadd Evans, Smith said, "It though it was cool. I got to know Robert and Chadd pretty good. Everybody loved the trip, even the guys I met on the trip. One kid I met on the Colorado State trip that tripped the same time I did. I think his name is Michael Pitre. He was at UCLA this weekend too. He's real cool."
With regard to his Colorado State verbal and his mother's call to the Rams regarding his desire to trip to UCLA, Smith said, "They said if I take the trip I would have to de-commit from Colorado State, so I guess I did. I really wanted to take the trip and I am glad I did. They really didn't want me to take it."
What did he think of UCLA? "It was unbelievable. Everything about it was nice." Smith's only other trip to California was to Clovis high school in Fresno. What did he think of Los Angeles? "Cool. It really wasn't like I thought it would be. I thought I wouldn't be able to figure out anything. And that it would be too big for me, but I think I like it a lot."
Regarding a coaches' in-house visit with Smith, he said, "They said they want to come in next week or the week after next. I could commit to UCLA then."
Defensive line coach Don Johnson was really the only defensive coach at UCLA while Smith was on his trip. But, in a twist of fate, the former defensive coordinator with Colorado State, Larry Kerr, is heading to UCLA in the same capacity. Smith said, "I was surprised a little bit. At first they wouldn't tell who it was. Then when I knew I thought that was kind of a crazy coincidence with Colorado State. It was kind of weird. It's cool though."
Smith talked about the Los Angeles restaurant scene as well. "They fed us all pretty well. We went to Laury's in Beverly Hills and Gladstone's in Malibu. The food was incredible. I can't ever remember eating like that."
Smith was hosted by UCLA tight end Keith Carter. "He was pretty cool. They took us all out to the Rose Bowl for a presentation. We saw our pictures and names up on the big screen there. That was real nice. It was pretty unbelievable."
The players had the opportunity to talk with head coach Karl Dorrell. "We got to talk with him when we first got there, and then we spoke to him again this morning. It was good to talk to him."
Asked if UCLA has gone back to the top of his list, Smith said, "Oh yeah, definitely. They would be the favorite. I've stopped talking to everybody else. It is pretty much between UCLA and Colorado State. I like UCLA a lot. They are really hard to beat. I don't think you can beat that at all."