Granite Bay (Calif.) four-star linebacker Cameron Smith is “really excited” to get to work at USC in the spring. The early enrollee said he “couldn’t be happier” about starting classes and football workouts beginning in January.
“It’s awesome,” Smith said. “I’m excited to see what I can do.”
Smith knows what uniform he’ll be wearing come next fall. However, he
isn’t sure about fellow Class of 2015 linebackers Osa Masina, John Houston and defensive end/outside linebacker Porter Gustin. But Smith
said he has pitched the idea of the four forming an elite linebacker
class at USC ala the 2005 recruiting class of Rey Maulauga, Brian Cushing, Luthur Brown and Kaluka Maiava. Maulauga, Cushing and Brown
were all five-star linebackers ranked in the top five at the position
while Maiava was the No. 11 outside linebacker.
The group combined with five-star linebacker Keith Rivers and little
known walk-on named Clay Matthews from the Class of 2004 to become one
of the most dominant linebacking corps in college football history. The
trio of Cushing, Matthews and Maulauga eventually were all selected in
the first 40 picks of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Rivers had went No. 9 overall in the 2008 draft. Smith sees similarities in the 2015 group of USC
targets, particularly with the 2009 draft trio that was featured
together on a Sports Illustrated magazine cover in April 2009.
“The Band of Brothers [SI magazine cover] picture looks almost
identical to the three of us,” Smith said of himself, Gustin and
Masina. “Osa looks just like Rey. Porter looks like Cushing and Clay
looks like me.”
“It’ll be huge to get all three maybe as well as John [Houston]. We’ll
see what we get. That would be awesome. I would love to play with all
of those guys. They’re great players. If we do land all those guys,
then that’s awesome. I think it’d be a great four years for sure.”
Smith, who said he is “pretty close” friends with Masina, thought he
was going to have a chance to present the idea of playing together with
Masina and Gustin last weekend when Smith and Gustin were scheduled for
official visits, but Gustin cancelled his visit at the last minute and
rescheduled for January.
“We were going to put the pressure on him a little bit more,” Smith
said. “I think he got sick or something.”
While Smith said he hasn’t spent much time with Gustin, he is excited
to see where the Utah four-star recruit chooses to go to school.
With no one else at his position visiting, Smith said he didn’t do too
much recruiting of the uncommitted official visitors — Georgia
five-star cornerback Terry Godwin, Texas four-star running back Ronald Jones II or four-star California junior college receiver Isaac Whitney
last weekend during his trip.
“I just let the coaches do the work. I just fill in more like what got
me, why I think USC is a great school,” Smith said. “The coaches have
enough to say. It’s such a great school. It doesn’t need more backup.”
The official visit ended up being very similar to Smith’s junior day
trip last year.
“It was a lot of the same stuff. It was pretty repetitive,” he said.
“We got to watch more film with Sirmon and that was good. When Sark
came in, he said what he likes and what he’s looking for.”
One of the things the coaching staff said they were looking for was
size at the linebacker position, which Smith feels he can provide.
“I’m a big body. I love to be the physical part of it and I can give
the other parts as well in terms of covering the pass and all that
stuff to be a complete linebacker,” Smith said. “That’s why I wanted to
be there in the spring, so I can make an impact as soon as possible.”
Smith will potentially be playing behind and learning from fellow
Northern California native Michael Hutchings, who Smith said he watched
in the state championship game when Hutchings was playing for De La Salle HS.
Hanging out with some of the current USC players, including defenders
Jabari Ruffin, Don Hill and Leonard Williams, was what stood out most
about his trip. Smith said he also hung out with Cody Kessler and
Nelson Agholor a little bit and spent some significant time the St.
Bonaventure HS duo of Bryce Dixon and fellow early enrollee recruit
Overall, it was a fun trip for Smith and his family, who took an extra
day to do some exploring in Long Beach before flying back Monday
“I had a lot of fun and I was really excited to be there for a solid
two days and see what it’s like to live there.”
A new Band of Brothers?
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