Junior Profile - Gabe Smith

Gabe Smith is a 6-2, 235 defensive end prospect from Eugene (Ore.) Sheldon, and Gabe has been thinking a lot about his future. Being from Eugene, you would think the hometown Ducks would figure prominently in that picture, but in Smith's case, you would be mistaken.

"I've been contacted by everybody in the Pac-10 except for Oregon and Oregon State," Smith told Dawgman.com. "Oregon has not contacted me. It's pretty embarassing for them. I even have a class with Luke Bellotti! I keep asking him and he tells me they can only talk to so many guys...I just laugh it off."

It is surprising Oregon hasn't reached the local star, but that will probably change soon. Smith runs a 4.67 40, benches 345 pounds, squats 400 pounds, power cleans 235 pounds and jumps 26 inches in the vertical leap.

"I like defense," he said. "I'm a defensive end, but also more of a utility guy. I came out with 13 sacks and the coaches just seem to like me there. And with Chris Baltzer and Mike Proulx already at linebacker there isn't a lot of room back there."

With his physical stats, it's easy to see why Gabe has been successful. "Well, I'm fast and I'm also the strongest player on the team, so I try to explode through my guy every time," he said. "Just go through the outside shoulder, do my job to the best of my ability."

For his work, Smith earned first team all-league and second team all-state honors on defense. And while Gabe looks for bigger and better individual honors, there's one goal he's adamant in achieving. "I hope I can make all-state this year," he said. "But of course the biggest thing is to have the team win the State championship. Last year was a heartbreaker. We've got one more year to get it done."

Sheldon lost to McNary 35-10 in last season's 4A championship game.

When it comes to off-season sports, Smith plays one that isn't necessarily in the mainstream...yet. "I do lacrosse in the spring and I'll be going to the Oregon Nike camp in June," Gabe said when asked about his summer plans. "I'll also be going to the Oregon contact camp and also the U-Dub contact camp. Maybe Oregon State."

Arizona State and Washington have been showing Smith the most interest, and his friends at Sheldon just roll their eyes when Gabe talks about the Huskies. "I just take it in stride," he said. "If that's the place I'm supposed to go, that's it. And besides, they'll be the ones sitting around, watching TV. And I'll be the one they'll be watching on TV."

And even though he can't understand Oregon's lack of interest, he's not closing that door just yet. "Well, if they want to come back and show interest, that's fine, but I wouldn't take them over a school like Washington anyways, just because of the educational reasons alone," he said. "I'm more into the engineering/science thing anyways as opposed to liberal arts. That's what I'm good at."

Gabe took a trip up to Seattle recently. "I went up to Washington before spring practices started," he said. "I took a tour of the campus. It's a great school. I like the atmosphere. The facilities were great too, like the student rec center. And I know the school is well funded, because of people like Bill Gates."

Smith is also very interested in the Sun Devils. "I went to Arizona State on my spring break," he said. "I have an uncle that lives in Tempe." Gabe also lists Princeton, Yale and UPS as three other favorites of his right now.

His current GPA is 3.86 and is already fully qualified, posting an 1150 SAT score earlier this year.

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