Braden Smith isn’t rushing the recruiting process, he isn’t paying too much attention to it and he doesn’t talk about it much either.
But Irish Sports Daily caught up with the highly-touted 2014 Kansas offensive lineman at last week’s Under Armour All-America Underclassmen Combine in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Smith has dozens of scholarship offers, including offers from schools like Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, South Carolina and Stanford. He credited Olathe South High School head coach Jeff Gourley with helping him keep the recruiting process under control.
“It hasn’t been too chaotic,” said Smith. “He’s helped me slow it down and let me focus on football. We’ll get that sorted out later. He’s been incredibly helpful. It helps me focus on my football at Olathe South. I don’t get distracted and it keeps me focused.
“I don’t really pay too much attention to it.”
The Olathe South standout measured in at just over 6 feet, 6 inches and weighed in at 285 pounds this weekend. Smith’s physique caught the attention of several observers and he went on to bench press 185 pounds 39 times when nobody else at the combine did more than 25 reps.
Smith said his weight dropped down to about 260 pounds during his junior season, but he’s worked hard to get it back up and is feeling good.
“I feel pretty strong,” he said. “Getting back and working out after the season, I hit it hard and got a lot stronger and bigger.”
While Smith hasn’t really attacked the recruiting process yet, he did get out to a pair of games for unofficial visits this fall to see four teams he has interest in.
He was in Norman for Oklahoma’s game against Notre Dame.
“It was pretty cool,” he said. “I got to see both teams, both great offenses. I saw some of the coaching, but I was mainly focused on the game.”
He also went to the Texas A&M-Alabama contest.
“That was crazy with the atmosphere and all of that,” he said.
Smith plans on getting to South Bend to see Notre Dame in the coming months.
“I just want to see what the feel is like, the tradition,” he said. “I like the tradition mainly. They have good balance on offense, I like that.”
Irish assistant Bob Elliott is handling Smith’s recruitment.
“I’ve been talking to him,” said Smith. “He’s a pretty good guy. He’s trying to help me make the right decision with the education.”
Smith isn’t in a rush to make a decision.
“I’m probably just going to wait and see how things play out because of coaching changes and all of that stuff,” he said.
When he does make his choice, it’ll be where he feels most comfortable.
“Where I fit in best and the atmosphere, where I feel like I’m at home and not out of place.”