A lot of recruiting pundits think Ohio defensive end Tyreke Smith wants to stay close to home and play for either the Ohio State Buckeyes or the Penn State Nittany Lions. If his top five is any indication, Smith might be giving the West Coast a bigger shot than we all realize.
Smith’s top five did include Ohio State and Penn State, but it also included the USC Trojans, the Oregon Ducks, and the Alabama Crimson Tide. That gives the Pac-12 a 40% chance of ending up with one of the nation’s premier defensive end rushers.
Smith also has shown some interest at potentially visiting two other major Pac-12 programs in the UCLA Bruins and the Stanford Cardinal.
The 6-foot-3, 260-ppound prospect from Cleveland, OH. is ranked as the nation's 4th best weakside defensive end in the country and the nation's 107th best player overall.
Despite having just started playing the game, he is not as raw technically as one might expect. He can still work on using his hands a little better when offensive linemen lock onto him, but he shows a good base of pass rush technique and skills already. He is a nicely built kid who is already strong and will get bigger and stronger which will help in the run game. He has tremendous upside. It will be interesting to see where he ends up playing in college. Strongside defensive end is the most likely option but given his size, three-tech is not entirely out of the question and he is athletic enough to play weakside as well.
Check out his video recruiting highlights and see if you agree with the assessment!