I went to the game Thursday evening in Moreno Valley to see him and his Mustang teammates take on Bloomington, and needless to say, I came away extremely impressed.
The first test in Scouting is the "look test". Does the player measure up? Is he tall enough? How is his frame? Is he carrying too much weight? Does he need more weight, etc...
At 6-6 and 265 pounds, Smith passed the look test with flying colors. He has long arms, and is extremely lean. He will be an easy 300 pounder without the fear of burdening him with too much extra weight. If I were to draw up the physical requirements of what a left tackle should look like as a 17 year old high school senior, I'd start with Tyron Smith.
So, he looks good in his pads, but can he play a lick of football? There's a phrase out there that coaches use all the time to describe those that pass the look test, but fail where it counts, on the field: "Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane".
Smith plays defensive end and offensive tackle full time for the Mustangs, so it didn't take long to find out that Smith is a big time football player.
Smith runs like a player that could stay at defensive end in the right scheme. His backside pursuit on defense is outstanding. Despite being taller than any of his opponents, he keeps a great base and overpowers players on offense and defense.
Watching him run on defense in pursuit of a running back 40 yards downfield, and that's all a coach would need to see before giving him the only ranking that matters... "offer".
Smith's size and athleticism make him an "offer" candidate for any team in the country, but his technique and feel for the game are what make him one of the very best prospects regardless of position.
Smith moves his feet like a power forward in the low post. He uses his hands to control his opponent. In pass rushing situations, he sinks down into his base and becomes virtually immovable for a player that he has engaged. Smith holds his blocks for so long, that he opens up one full side of the field should a pass play break down and the quarterback need to scramble.
He completely takes defensive ends out of the game in passing situation, and his awareness is outstanding. At one point, I saw him block his man down towards the center, then pull off and engage another defender that was trying to stunt around the end. There are fifth year seniors in college that can't do that effectively.
How good is Smith in the passing game? By the middle of the second quarter, the Bloomington defensive end had given up on pass rushing. He became content to stay at the line of scrimmage and move laterally hoping to clog the passing lane.
Rancho Verde doesn't run the ball very often, but when they do, they count on Smith to bury his opponent, and he rarely disappoints.
Tyron Smith is everything a coach looks for in an offensive tackle. He'll need to add some weight in college, but he has the frame to easily play at 300 pounds and retain his quickness.
Having seen #1 ranked offensive tackle prospect and fellow USC Commitment Matt Kalil in action (Video Link) last week, I think I would have to give Smith the nod right now.
That's a scary proposition for future opponents of the Trojans, when the biggest argument becomes which 5-Star offensive tackle should be ranked higher.
See Tyron Smith in action in this Video preview from ScoutTV, and in addition, SCPlayBook Subscribers can see a full 5-minutes of him from last week's game in the video links listed below.