Cameron Smith thought about waiting. Maybe releasing a top list of schools. Maybe even taking some visits this summer and during his senior season, announcing at an all-star game.
The Granite Bay, Calif., four-star linebacker is not good sitting around. Instead, Smith committed to USC over many other top programs on Wednesday, ending his recruitment with a bang and focusing only on the Trojans, who had become his clear favorite right after they offered.
"(Assistant coach Peter) Sirmon was here (Tuesday) at practice so he put zero pressure on me which I love," Smith said. "He said, 'I want you when you're ready.' He said, I want you to be 100 percent,' which I knew I was since junior day.
"I thought, 'Why would I continue to lead other teams on and take visits?' That's not right. I felt the most manly decision was to do what I want to do and commit. There are other great linebackers. I've been ready for this and do what's best for me and my family and get it over with."
The 6-foot-2, 240-pound inside linebacker who will attend the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge next month in Baltimore moved USC right to the top of his list after it offered.
UCLA was an early frontrunner but the Bruins slipped down the list after the Trojans got involved. Oregon got a serious look. Wisconsin was up there because Smith loves how Big 10 teams play.
Alabama and plenty of other SEC teams were showing interest. Big 10 teams were recruiting him and he was considering all kinds of visits this summer.
His 7on7 team, Body By Tra, will attend the IMG Tournament this summer and the recruits are expected to stop at Tennessee - which offered Smith - along with Alabama, Florida, Florida State and possibly others.
Before any of that could happen, Smith made his commitment. The initial plan might have been to narrow down his list, take some visits and then announce much later but Smith wanted to end it early. He saw the USC recruiting class coming together and wanted to be a part of it.
"I'm happy," Smith said. "I feel great. I feel like it's the right decision. The timing was a surprise but it was the right thing to do.
The tradition and how Hayes Pullard has played the last couple years and I got to watch film on him and how his game has developed. With two linebacker coaches that are recently out of the NFL they're freshly out of it, they have all this knowledge and they know what it takes to be the next-level linebacker - get your education and play in the NFL. Those two give me the best chance at going to the next level.
"With this staff right now and all these recruits and commits we can win a national championship. That's also the main goal so this is the best spot."
Adam Gorney is a West Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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