Woodland Hills Taft HS WR/DB Steve Smith might be the best athlete in America, and he's only a junior. He's a legitimate two-sport star, dominating on both the gridiron and the hardwood. In fact, his talent is so impressive that his football coach recently called him a "freak" a la Randy Moss…but he doesn't run the 40 in 4.2, nor does he stand 6'4". He measures in at a modest 6'1" and runs the 40 in a solid, but not spectacular, 4.4 seconds. Not all that uncommon indeed.
Still, he dominates on the gridiron and on the hardwood like no other two sport athlete since Jason Thomas. You want proof? Check out these stats: going both ways, Steve ended up with 93 receptions on offense and picked off an unreal 12 int.'s on defense for the 2001 season. With the basketball, Steve averaged 26 points a game as a sophomore. So how does he do it? Well, no one really knows for sure, but most think it has to do with superior coordination and body control. On the football field, Steve has an uncanny ability to come down with the ball, on both offense and defense. Simply put, he's just a playmaker. I had a chance to chat with Steve tonight and he was very pleasant to talk to. Here's what he had to say about his future plans:
M: So Steve, tell me what schools you're looking at.
S: I'm open to just about every school right now, I like a lot of the PAC-10 schools like USC, UCLA, Stan…and Tenn, Florida St….
M: Did you have a childhood favorite growing up?
S: Well, Notre Dame, but I don't even want to go there now.
M: Are you looking to play both sports in college?
S: Not really, I want to choose one sport and concentrate on it in college, but I may play two sports.
M: Which sport do think you'll be choosing?
S: If I had to choose, I think I would choose football.
M: Have you talked to coach Bibby at all?
S: No, actually I went up there today to go see their football practice, but I haven't talked to him.
M: Rumor has it that you have a couple of friends at Taft that are interested in USC. Is there any truth to that?
S: Yeah, a lot of my friends on my team. My friend Noah (Smith, no relation) went up there today with me.
M: He runs track, right?
S: He plays football and he runs track. He wants to play football in college and run track as well.
M: So do you think you two could go as a package deal?
M: Do you have any friends at USC now?
S: I do, Gregg Guenther, Greig Carlson and John Walker.
M: Can you tell me what you like about USC?
S: I've been looking at USC for a while because my favorite player is Kareem Kelly. We talk and he keeps me up to date on what's going on at USC. I think Coach Carroll is cool. It seems like the system is going to get better now. The first five games were rough, but things have gotten better. I 've become more interested lately because our QB Brandon Hance might go there. USC is definitely in my top 10, top 5. I used to hate USC, but then my friends got me going to the games, so I started to like them and I started going to the games all the time and I like Kareem.
M: So were you a UCLA fan?
S: No, never, I hated them too. I always liked Florida State and the East Coast schools.
M: If Brandon does choose USC, would that be a big plus in your eyes?
S: Yeah, that would be a big plus.
Special thanks to Dezire44 (who occasionally visits Wearesc.com) and Theo Alexander for their assistance with this article.