The NIKE combine tour hit Long Beach (Calif.) this past weekend and we had a chance to check out several players who we feel will be highly recruited next year. One player we feel could be among the top five prospects in the state is offensive lineman Tyron Smith and he showed why on Saturday.
The NIKE combines have taken on a more prominent role this year as it's the only opportunity for players to be tested. Players will no longer be able to test at NIKE camps since they're on Div I campuses so the combines are the way to go for those players who want to test and receive a SPARQ Rating.
Smith measured in at a rock solid 6-5, 260 pounds and looked like a man among boys on Saturday. He was easily the most physically impressive player we saw and although he didn't test as well as he would have liked, still was very impressive.
Smith clocked a 5.13 in the 40 on what was a pretty slow overall day for 40s, did 24 reps on the bench and most impressively, jumped 31 inches in the vertical. His 71.76 SPARQ Rating was tops among all linemen at the event.
"I've been doing 30 reps on the bench every time I practiced so I was a little disappointed I only did 24," Smith said. "I thought everything else was good. I ran pretty well and enjoyed myself out here."
Smith burst on to the scene a year ago when he was the MVP of the NIKE Camp at USC, the only underclassmen to win such honors. Watching his junior film, it's tough to imagine there being five better offensive line prospects anywhere in the country.
The lineman has every physical tool you could want in a player and combines it with a great work ethic off the field and a mean streak on it.
On the recruiting front, Smith said he hasn't decided if he wants to commit early or take some trips but is leaning towards taking his trips.
"Right now, I'm planning on taking some visits," Smith said. "UCLA, Colorado and Arizona are my top three right now but I'm still open to everyone. I'm going to UCLA's Junior Day this weekend and I'm sure I'll attend a couple of team camps this spring and summer but I'm not sure which ones yet."