Huskies offer So Cal wideout

Every year players come out of nowhere early in their senior seasons earning enough interest from D-1 schools to get scholarship offers. Centennial (Compton, Ca.) WR Kevin Smith is just such a player and recently the Huskies became the second D-1 program and first Pac 10 school to offer the talented wideout and there could be more on the way...

"Washington offered me a little while back," Smith told recently. "Colorado was the first to offer me and then U-Dub offered and then Arizona came in right after that."

With his 6-1, 200-pound frame, 38-inch vertical and 4.4 speed, it's a wonder why Smith hasn't received more interest until now. However, he and his head coach think they know the reasons why.

"I didn't start playing football until last year and it was most of the way through the year too," Smith said. "I played in only the last five games in 2008. Up until then I was mainly a basketball player.

"I loved the game of football, but my brothers were basketball players so I just sorta followed in their footsteps."

"He's a talented kid," Centennial head coach Eric Scott told "He's real physical for never really having played much. He catches the ball with his hands and we love his athleticism. He could play almost anywhere.

"I think he's just starting to tap into his potential and schools are seeing that. When you don't play football until late in your junior year, schools have to see what you can do in order to really come after you and that's what you're seeing right now with him."

While Smith is a standout on the defensive side of the ball, it's on offense where he's made his biggest impact for the Apaches hauling in 26 receptions for almost 700 yards and 10 touchdowns - including an eight-catch, 235-yard, two-touchdown effort in a 34-7 win over North.

"I always feel like the ball is mine when it's up in the air," Smith said. "I sorta rely on my basketball skills when I catch the ball because it's all about hands and getting up quick (jumping) to outleap the other guy."

With his outstanding skills, Washington was so impressed with Smith they decided to offer him shortly after watching his film.

"I talked to coach (Demetrice) Martin and he said they really liked what they saw of me on film," Smith said. "He talks a lot about Washington and what they are building up there. He said they are just looking for some football players that can come in and make plays and he felt like I was one of those guys.

"The head coach up there (Steve Sarkisian) is a former USC guy and so is coach (Nick) Holt, so they know how to evaluate talent. It was a real honor getting offered by them."

Smith hasn't scheduled any visits at this time, deciding to concentrate on his senior season of football and getting ready for basketball season, but he said he plans to take all his visits after his time on the gridiron comes to an end.

"I'm just looking for a place that I can feel comfortable and that I enjoy," Smith said. "Obviously I'd like to see some early playing time, but I know I have a lot to learn as far as learning how to run routes right and stuff like that so it's not the most important thing that I play right away.

"It's the comfort-level of where I end up, how I feel about the coaches and the rest of the players and I really want to go to a school with good academic support because you can only play sports for a certain amount of time and then you have to think about the rest of your life.'

Now 4-3, Centennial takes on South High School this Friday as they begin their run to try and qualify for the post season.

We'll continue to keep track of Smith's progress and update news as it happens.

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