In-state OL: From couch potato to WSU target

KAMERON SMITH went from couch potato to Washington State recruiting target. Even he marvels at how far he has come over the past three years, drawing scholarship offers from WSU and Utah State and interest from multiple other colleges.

“Until eighth grade, I was a coach potato and did nothing,” the massive offensive lineman from Lincoln High School of Tacoma said. “I’ve come pretty far and I’m very proud of myself for that…It’s pretty amazing when you look at old pictures of me compared to now.”

Now, the 300 pounds on Kameron Smith’s 6-foot-8 frame represent more muscle than fat, something the 17-year-old junior-to-be attributes to cutting out candy and soda “and mostly just doing sports.”

In addition to football, he plays basketball – sports he took up in eighth grade – and is a thrower in track and field. Basketball was his original preference, but not for long.

“Football was something I said, ‘Oh, I’m just doing this because my friends are doing it,’” Smith said. “After my sophomore year, I really got to love the game and wanted to play all the time.”

He found an affinity for the weight room as well. Now can bench press 325 pounds and squat close to 450. These days, he’s more apt to be moving furniture than sitting on it. “Now, I can’t not do something – I have to be doing something or I’m bored,” Smith said. WSU gave Smith his first scholarship offer on May 8.

“It was pretty crazy,” he said. “I didn’t expect it. I had a feeling they liked me, but I didn’t know they liked me that much.”

Utah State was second to offer and Smith said other colleges showing interest include Washington, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, New Mexico, Utah, Bucknell, Holy Cross and Princeton.

Smith said he has a good relationship with WSU assistant Eric Mele, who handles recruiting on the West side of the state, and that he likes the direction the school and program are going.

In return, coaches have told Smith they like his leadership and, obviously, his size along with his determination to steadily improve.

The Cougs recently lost another in-state O-line recruit, Scott Peck from Central Valley, to Utah. Peck said he committed to the Utes on Aug. 17, citing the program’s “brotherhood” and family feel – an atmosphere he said he thinks is similar at WSU, which was in the running until the end.

Peck said it was “pretty tough” to inform the Cougs of his decision, but that he’s happy with his decision.

Smith said he is in no hurry to make his choice.

“I’m trying to give it as much time as I can,” he said. “I’ll probably make my decision after the season. I want to take time to make a good decision and not just go with a whim.”

Smith, who has raised his GPA from 2.4 to 3.1 since his sophomore year (“I suffered from chronic procrastination,” he said), knows there is a risk current college suitors like WSU might go in another direction if he waits too long. But he’s confident.

“I do think about that (risk) and I’ve had thoughts of just committing right away and getting it over with,” he said. “But right now I just want to focus on the football season and getting better.

“I know if I work hard, I’ll have a good season and have a good highlight tape and college coaches are going to be interested in me. D-1 or not, I’m going to go to college somewhere, and that’s the goal. I just want to get better and do well in school.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sandy Ringer spent the past 28 years as the Seattle Times preps reporter -- no one knows the state of Washington prep scene like Ringer -- before announcing her retirement from the newspaper earlier this month. A 40-year newspaper veteran, she will be bringing her vast preps knowledge to the fore in penning regular recruiting articles for She can be found on twitter at

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