There isn't any player we're more excited to see at this weekends' NIKE Camp in Los Angeles than Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde offensive lineman Tyron Smith. The lineman earned Camp MVP honors a year ago and is hoping to duplicate his performance on Sunday.
Smith, 6-5, 265 pounds is a top 100 player nationally and will jockey with Anaheim (Calif.) Servite tackle Matt Kalil for the honor of top OL in the West region this year.
Smith has incredible upside and really had his coming out party at last year's NIKE Camp. He dominated the position and one on one drills and with his long arms, great feet and overall athletic ability, it's no wonder he's hearing from just about every top school in the country.
"Everyone is calling me right now about him," RV coach Pete Duffy said. "Florida has been really aggressive and calls me or texts Tyron almost every day it seems. Notre Dame, Nebraska, all the Pac 10 schools of course and especially USC and UCLA are on him like crazy."
When we talked to Smith and Duffy at the NIKE Combine in Long Beach back in January, UCLA was a strong leader and that trend continued even after the lineman picked up an offer from USC following their Junior Day event.
In recent weeks, it looks like things have changed and the lineman may now have a new leader.
"USC is his top school now, no question," Duffy said. "He has been up there a lot lately and plans to watch their spring game this Saturday as well. He was up there last week with his parents and they showed the whole family a good time.
"I think the main reason Tyron is leaning to SC now is he has a much better chance of getting in to school there. He's going to really have to push hard this last semester and then next year as a senior and will also need to do well on the SAT.
"I think he'll make it but UCLA is pretty tough and I know it could be a struggle if he wants to go there. He's working hard though, I have him pretty focused on what he needs to do in the classroom and I don't want him to even think about the SAT until the school year is over and then in the summer, we'll hit that really hard."