FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft four-star, Rivals100 athlete Malcolm Smith is slated to play linebacker in Thursday's Offense-Defense All-American Bowl.
But when the West coaches saw his highlight tape on Rivals.com, they sent him an offensive playbook because he's so talented on that side of the ball.
It was a minor mistake, but it just shows you how multi-faceted Smith is and why he is one of the top candidates to have a monster game.
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"I just want to have fun," Smith said about his goals for the game.
"I want to play and have fun, that's basically it. I don't want to make this too stressful. I'm trying to create a turnover and score a touchdown on defense. I don't know what to expect from the playbook yet since they sent me an offensive one, but that's kind of flattering that the coaches liked me on offense, too."
Instead the offense will be left to his teammate, offensive lineman Darrion Weems. Smith said he expects Weems to have a big game, too.
"They're supposed to be running a spread offense, quick attack no huddle, so I want to see him moving a lot, getting around and knocking some guys over," Smith said. "He's got good feet. He'll be great in that offense."
Getting from the West Coast to Fort Lauderdale required a redeye flight for Smith and Weems, and the trip didn't go without a few bumps and long layovers.
"Hopefully, I won't have too many more trips like that," he said.
"A couple of times it got so bumpy, I was hunched over in my seat praying. It's a long time on the plane when it's bumpy like that. I few with Darrion from LAX to Atlanta, and then I was on a later flight from Atlanta to here because my schedule was different. But it was good to get a break from being up in the air for so long."
When he arrived at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott North, Smith said he was excited to meet his new teammates, and he also met few guys from the East squad that he plans to get to know better on the field.
"The East guys are already talking stuff," Smith said. "I'm not even sure what their names are, but a couple of guys talked about how they were going to win. Let me get a couple of days in and see how things go before I talk back to them. Besides, I'll let my play do the talking."
When talking to Smith, you can't help but bring up recruiting. Smith is one of the few top 10 players in California that has yet to make up his mind. He's said for a while now he's had a consistent top three, and that remains unchanged.
"I'm down to Cal, SC and Notre Dame," Smith said. "I'm taking my visit to SC on the (Jan.) 19th and that'll be it. I'll probably make a decision sometime after that. Cal and Notre Dame are really high on my list because of academics. They both have a high percentage of graduation. SC has great family ties, and they're trying to better in academics. That's good because that's what college is all about.
Smith said he's taking a long look at things off the football field when it comes to making a decision.
"I want to major in engineering," he said. "I think Notre Dame and Cal have a better engineering program, well, actually, I don't know because SC got a big grant, so they're all about the same."
Smith said he plans to lean on his mother, Audrey Smith, to help him make his decision. She's encouraged him to not just limit himself to USC and take a strong look at Cal and Notre Dame.
"She just wants me to make sure that I see everything," Smith said. "She doesn't want me to limit myself to SC. That's basically it. I think a lot of people just automatically think it's SC, but that's not it at all. It's a tough decision."