"I made a heartfelt decision and that‘s what it basically came down to," Smith said. "USC was in my heart, and that's why I chose USC." Smith was asked if he knew he would choose USC before his official visit to USC Jan. 19-21, and how important was the visit.
"The visit was very important," Smith said. "After visiting, it just seemed like there was so much opportunity at SC. There's so much excitement with USC football. It's a great opportunity to play for Coach (Pete) Carroll and when you play for him, you know it will be exciting and competitive." How close was Smith to choosing Notre Dame or California?
"Very close, very very close," Smith said. "They (Notre Dame) have a great tradition, offer a great education and excellent athletics.
"Cal was right there, too. Cal is just so competitive in everything and it's a great university."
There's been speculation that Smith was being recruited as a safety, but he said that's not the case.
"I'm coming in as a Will linebacker," Smith said. "That is the position I want to play. Wherever I can play the earliest is best for me. I'll play wherever they want me to."
Smith will get together with the USC coaches after he signs his letter-of-intent on Feb. 7 and receive the playbook, and workout program. He'll prepare himself during the spring for summer camp.