Cameron Smith recruit scouting report: True inside linebacker

Cameron Smith -- Student Sports

Cameron Smith is one of the best linebacker recruits on the West Coast and is heavily recruited by Pac-12 programs as a potential run-stuffing middle linebacker.

Cameron Smith is one of the top inside linebackers in the class of 2015 and is being pursued by most of the Pac-12's top programs.

Smith attends Granite Bay High School in Granite Bay, Calif., and he ranks as a four-star prospect in Scout, Rivals and ESPN, and as a three-star by 247. He received a four-star rating in the 247 composite system, and all four recruiting services rank him in the top 10 at his position, while Scout ranks him No. 1 among all inside linebackers. The composite ratings have him listed as the third-best inside linebacker in the country and the 15th-best prospect in California. Smith is listed at 6'3 and 225 pounds by 247.

The Pac-12 programs are all after the locally-grown talent, as Smith has offers from Oregon, USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington and Cal, among others. However, schools in other parts of the country are after him too, as Wisconsin and Louisville have offered.

Scouting by Derrell Warren (@yssd), West Coast Recruiting Analyst

Smith is a linebacker recruit blessed with phenomenal size. He’s an instinctual player with good versatility. This trait shows up on tape in his ability to affect the game in multiple facets.

As far as the foundation of Smith’s game is concerned, his primary role projects to be as an interior thumper. That said, he’s a coordinated athlete with body control, who flashes some change of direction in close quarters

Smith can break down upon filling gaps and plays with great with great leverage. He explodes into the legs and torso of ball-carriers, driving them backwards on contact. He surrenders little, if any yards after contact.

Now although Smith appears to have a rangy frame, he doesn’t activate his length nearly enough when taking on blockers, or when scraping along the line of scrimmage. He’ll need to do a better job of doing that at the next level. This is especially true when playing against more athletic offensive linemen, able to climb to the second level ad reduce his operating space.

At this stage, Smith projects best operating from b-gap to b-gap as opposed to being asked to run plays down in space. He functions best versus perimeter runs scraping along the line of scrimmage, and then cleaning up runs that have been forced back inside by teammates who have kept outside containment

As far as coverage in concerned, Smith flashes good awareness in zones. On tape, he shows the ability to finish plays with interceptions. Shows good overall ball skills as his film show him get his hands on several passes. He can also adjust his frame to make plays on the ball. However, he doesn’t show the suddenness to mirror faster, more explosive backs out in space.

He flashes some short area burst when asked to come off the edge as a pass rusher. Can create some initial pressure, but lacks the finishing burst to rack up sacks.

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