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Thursday, March 7, 2013
Watch List OT Smith plans three visits

By Brad Bournival

It won’t be much of a break for Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan./Olathe) in a few weeks.

Then again, one of the most sought-after offensive guards in the nation wants to make sure he’s making the right choice when it comes to colleges.

The 6-foot-6, 285-pound junior has planned unofficial visits to Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame. The ESPN Watch List junior will visit the Buckeyes on March 18 and then follow up with visits to the Wolverines and Fighting Irish throughout the course of a week.

“Yes, I can confirm that,” Olathe coach Jeff Gourley said. “They’re planning on making a whirlwind tour through the Midwest during our spring break. They’re thinking about adding more schools, but right now those three schools are definitely on the list.”

With offers from all three, Smith has become one of the hottest commodities in the class of 2014.

Buckeyes offensive line coach Ed Warinner has told the junior he’s near the top of their list as they try to build an offensive line that could lose as many as four seniors to graduation after this season.

Brady Hoke and the Wolverines have a history of building from the front line back, and Notre Dame is looking to add depth after reeling in a very strong offensive front in 2013.

Smith currently has offers from Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M and Virginia. He also has an offer from TCU, where his sister Megan throws shot put for the Horned Frogs.