Often known for speed and skill, the south Florida area has long been viewed as one of the most fertile regions of the country for high school football talent. Recent years however have seen more than just speed come out of the region. Defensive line talent is regularly emerging from the area in recent years and among the next crop of prospects is Hialeah (Fla.) High School's Calvin Smith.
At 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, Smith is an athletic interior defender that is already making a splash as junior both on the high school football field as well as on the recruiting trail. Smith has already picked up some serious interest from some major programs including three early offers.
"I'm hearing from Coach Wesley McGriff from the University of Miami," Smith said. "I was offered a full scholarship by them. I was offered by UCF and offered by Illinois this past week. Notre Dame's been by the school and my coach said they're supposed to offer m too."
Hialeah is building a strong tradition at defensive line. Last season Rivals100 DT Corey Liuget committed to Illinois and along with Smith, Hialeah also boasts standout 2010 prospect Corey Lemonier.
With Smith's natural ability, he can expect to see many more offers coming his way but the three schools that have already come forward all hold an interest to the big athlete.
"Right now I like all the schools that have offered me," he said. "I like UM, they're a young, up and coming team. I like the way they're starting the defense. I like Illinois. They're a young up and coming team. I like UCF too. UCF is close to home, it's in Orlando so I like all of the programs, I'm just concentrating on my grades right now."
Despite going to school in south Florida, the Miami offer doesn't immediately put the Hurricanes on the top of Smith's list. There is another Florida program that he is keeping his eye on.
"I'm a big Florida State fan," he said. "I'm kind of waiting for Florida State and Florida to offer. I think down the line after the season progresses and people start to see me play, I think there's going to be a lot more offers."
Smith's success on the football field is not a surprise considering his bloodlines. His father, Mesene Louisdor, played in the NFL for the Vikings and the Dolphins before playing in the CFL. That background may be one of the reasons why Smith has such a high football IQ and keen instincts.
"I think my strengths are getting off blocks well," he said. "I've picked off two screens, one for a touchdown already. I think I'm becoming a real student of the game. I understand leverage and stuff like that."
Along with his father's guidance, Smith has been kept on the straight and narrow by his mother as well.
"He preaches about being mentally tough and preaches about grades, respect and being humble. Him and my mom are always teach me about that. My mom has been very inspirational to me in my life."
With a lot of success likely ahead of him, humility will continue to be more and more of a challenge for the big south Florida talent.