Smith has ties to Southern California

One of the top recruits in the nation is offensive lineman Andre Smith of Huffman HS in Alabama and so far Smith says he is completely open in terms of making his college choice. What could make it interesting for Trojan fans is that his mother is originally from Southern California and he still has relatives in the area. Click below for more information.

We first had a chance to see Smith in action at the Army All-American combine in San Antonio and it was clear that he was going to be an elite player. Andre is 6-4, 315 and moves with surprising agility for a man his size, he says his training program emphasizes stretching and flexibility "It helps your quickness and speed so you can get to one place to another quicker" and that line of thinking comes straight from the Chris Carlisle book of game preparation. recruiting analyst Scott Kennedy had the following report on Smith after watching him in action last fall:

"He has a combination of physical ability and on the field work ethic that is unparalleled this year. Many dominant offensive linemen are strong when there is a player head up on them, but they don't seek and destroy the way Smith will. From burying guys directly in front of him, to one armed pancake blocks on players trying to run around him, to leading his running back all the way down the sidelines after the man he was supposed to block dodged completely out of the way, Smith does it all on the field."

Kennedy went so far as to say last September that if Smith had been a member of the recruiting class of 2005 that he could have been ranked as the top OL in the nation and top overall player in Alabama.

With praise like that it's no surprise that Smith has offers from some of the top programs in the nation including USC, Miami, Oklahoma and home-state schools Alabama and Auburn. Andre seems to have a very level head about the process so far and claims that he is in no rush to make a decision.

"Anybody who is interested in me at this point, I'm interested in them. I just want to take it all in and enjoy the process. I listen to my parents, my coach and my pastor and they tell me to put my faith in God, he won't put me in any position that I can't succeed."

Andre did tell us that he has family in Southern California, in fact his mother is originally from the area (she moved to Alabama when she was 12) and his grandmother still lives in Victorville. He has cousins here as well "I've never met them though" and he said basically his mother's side of the family is based in California. Could family ties on the West Coast help Smith take a look at USC? You never know. There is a lot of speculation that it will be tough to beat the home schools for Andre but with the recruiting prowess of Pete Carroll and the Trojans these days anything is possible.

Click here for Andre Smith video Top Stories