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Thursday, June 13, 2013
ESPN 150 OG Smith focused on season

By Sam Khan Jr.

While many top college prospects are traveling across the country to take unofficial visits, attend camps and find ways to visit schools that they're interested in, ESPN 150 offensive guard Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan./Olathe South) is taking a different approach, according to his head coach.

The 6-foot-6, 285-pound prospect, who is No. 118 in the ESPN 150, is focusing on offseason workouts and not recruiting currently.

Braden Smith
ESPN 150 offensive lineman Braden Smith is focused on his high school squad.
"Nothing's changed," Olathe South coach Jeff Gourley siad. "He is still Braden. There's no decision, no anything."

Smith, a four-star prospect who is ranked No. 6 in the nation at his position, hasn't taken any trips to schools recently, Gourley said.

"He's an Olathe South Falcon and that's all he cares about right now," Gourley said. "He has made no decisions and all he's worried about is his senior year of high school football. That's it. He's not a big story because he doesn't care right now."

The spring evaluation period saw several schools come through Olathe South to recruit Smith. Gourley said a handful of schools have tried to make sure their presence was felt.

"[Texas] A&M, Ohio State, Alabama, TCU, those are the ones that have been in heavy and making sure that their presence is known and things like that," Gourley said. "Notre Dame is on that list also."

But since the spring evaluation period ended, Smith's focus has been on his team.

"When he started on June 3 with our summer program, all recruiting stopped," Gourley said. "I don't talk to him about it, he doesn't talk to me about it, he doesn't pick up his mail. When I say he's focused on the season, that's exactly what I mean."

Gourley said it's a refreshing approach to see.

"It's the right perspective," Gourley said. "I see kids going the other way and trying to sell themselves to colleges throughout the summer but they struggle [during their senior season]."