Everything John Smith heard and saw during his USC junior day visit was positive and the Long Beach (Calif.) Poly four-star standout said he couldn't help but be impressed by the Trojans.
Smith, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound prospect who has emerged as one of the top players in California, had a sit-down meeting with USC coach Lane Kiffin and it was decided the Trojans would recruit him to play wide receiver, Smith's preferred position.
"I talked to Lane Kiffin one-on-one and I asked him, 'Lane Kiffin, what are you recruiting me to play?'" Smith said.
"He said, 'Honestly, we see you as an athlete but since you're here we wanted to get your opinion on what you want to play.' I told him I want to play wide receiver but I'd be open to DB. He said, 'OK, we're recruiting you as a wide receiver and your personal recruiting coach is Tee Martin.' He's a great coach. He knows a lot of things and he has Marqise Lee, Nelson (Agholor), all those good players, so I'm looking forward to it."
USC has made significant strides for Smith, who said two weekends ago that Michigan stood out early in his recruitment. The junior day visit did a lot for the Long Beach Poly standout who said he enjoyed the entire event and that the USC coaches knowing him already really made an impression.
"It was awesome," Smith said. "That was my first junior day and it's a local school, USC, and I walked in and it felt like home. All the coaches knew me. They were saying, 'Oh Juju, how are you doing Juju?' and they said they were looking forward to having me there.
"The facility is nice. They have new facilities and they put in millions of dollars for it. It was an awesome trip. It was really exciting. I want to have the chemistry with the coaches. I don't want to be just another kid. I want the coaches to know me and know who I am. It felt like I've known them for a long time."
Smith was impressed but no commitment is going to be made anytime soon. The four-star prospect who has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan, UCLA, USC, Washington, Washington State and others said he wants to see how next season plays out and then he'll work on his choice.
"I'm taking it slow," Smith said. "I'm not going to commit early. I'll most likely commit toward the end of the college season. I want to see how they're doing, how the coaches are doing and how the players are doing. I'm taking my time."