Athletic Tackles Like Nick Smith are Hard to Find

Diablo Valley offensive tackle Nick Smith was a standout lineman at this year's NorCal combine. He says he weighed about 260 pounds last season and wasn't all that strong. It appears he has grown up a little bit since last November. At the combine he weighed about 280 pounds and ran a phenominal 5.0 forty. Smith took time out before the Fourth of July for an interview.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with What are your vitals and do you have any notable weight room accomplishments?: Right now I'm 6-5, 280 pounds and have a 355-pound power clean. At your combine I ran a 5.0 forty.

Where did you go to high school?
I graduated from Miramonte High School in 2002.

What were your career or senior season stats in high school?
My senior year we were 13-0 and I made first team all-league at left tackle.

Were you recruited by any four-year schools out of HS? Did you have any scholarship offers?
I was recruited by Eastern Washington and Utah State, and both offered some money for school.

What led you to Diablo Valley College?
I went to Arizona State out of high school and didn't even play football there. I didn't make very good grades so I came back to California and lived at home for a while. I decided that I missed football and I walked on for DVC's team. Football is an addictive thing to me, the more I put into it the more it gives back to me. I have been working as hard as I can to be the best player I can be ever since.

What were some of the highlights from your freshman season?
Beating West Valley. They were supposed to kick our ass. We sucked it up as a team, though, and ended up winning by like 2 points.

When will you have your AA degree?
I will have my AA in December.

Are any four-year schools recruiting you right now? If yes, which ones?
I have gotten a lot of letters from a lot of schools, but Oregon State took the time to call me and so did Arizona State.

Which schools seem to be recruiting you the hardest? Do you have any official offers yet?
I don't know, I'm not worried about that right now. I still have to be a badass next season. I am too focused on winning games this fall to worry about next spring right now.

What will be the most important factors, other than playing time obviously, that you'll consider when choosing a college?
I will play football anywhere. I just love the sport, but if I could be a picky as I wanted I would go somewhere that has a huge stadium and where the students are all about game days. I also want to go somewhere with really good food.

What separates you from the other (maybe more average) guys at your position that you've seen play?
I'm not the average o-lineman. I'm as fast, if not faster, than all the linebackers and other linemen on my team. I'm the type of guy who isn't 300 pounds, but I'm lean and strong. I can play anywhere on the line and excel. I'm not the fastest guy on the team, but I'm up there. I'm also the strongest.

What are your biggest strengths right now?
My power clean and my lateral speed help me a lot. In pass pro I can move really well, but when it is time to dig in and move some weight I can also leave a lasting impression on even the biggest d-lineman.

Where do you need to improve the most?
I am training my bench to be heavier right now. My max is around 365, and I think that is my weakest point.

What have you been doing in the off season to improve your speed/strength/skills?
I just do exactly what the coaches ask me to do, and that seems to be working great. I also do speed training Saturday mornings at 8 a.m. and I do auxiliary lifting on my own time, for example biceps, shoulders, back and whatever else.

Do you know what you'd like to study when you leave JC for a four-year college?
My dad is an engineer and that is what he wants me to study, but I think my interests lie more in either business or journalism.

How would your teammates describe you on and off of the football field?
As a big happy goofy bastard that likes to eat and works hard.

When you're not playing football or in school, what are some of things you like to do?
I'm boring man! I hang out with my girlfriend, watch movies, eat, workout, hangout with friends, just normal stuff.

Tell me something that's maybe a little unique about yourself:
I can ride a unicycle... that is weird, huh?

Tell me about three or four other guys to watch for on your team next year.

Defensive lineman Sean Merhaster (6-2, 279) is an ox. Strong, fast, very intelligent and dedicated. He actually went to the combine, also, and made the all-NorCal combine team.

Linebacker Brendan Ottoboni (5-11, 234) went to DeLaSalle and still carries that attitude with him. He is a hard worker and has all the numbers to be a great player and the attitude to back it up. He made the all-combine team too.

Wide receiver Nicky Smith is the best receiver we have. He doesn't drop balls, he is hella fast, and he can shake any DB. Nicky was a running back, so he also has this side to him that likes to hit hard. I have seen him knock other guys so hard that it hurt me to watch.



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