HAYWARD, Calif. -- Granite Bay (Calif.) linebacker Cameron Smith is considered one of the top inside linebackers in the country and showed up at Chabot College on Sunday to participate in the Oakland Nike Football Training Camp.
Prior to the event, Smith spoke with SB Nation Recruiting about the current state of his recruitment.
"I'm interested in a lot of schools right now," he said. "I'll bring a top five out in June, but I still love USC, UCLA, Wisconsin, Tennessee. They're all high on my charts and such, but it'll be official coming up in about a month, so right now, just same old stuff.'
One school that will have a chance to enter the mix is Oregon. The 6'3, 223-pounder will visit Eugene next week for the first time after picking up his offer from the Ducks in early March.
"It will be fun to see a new school," Smith said.
Washington may also get a visit on that trip.
The Granite Bay product doesn't have many other visits planned until his senior season, either. A trip to Tuscaloosa during the summer could happen if the Crimson Tide decide to extend an offer.
"Other than that, I'm just going to wait until September, take my officials, and then go from there," he said.
One of the schools likely to receive a visit is Tennessee.
Smith feels like he could be a good fit in Knoxville and likes the fact that the staff plans to move him around and let him play different linebacker positions.
For Wisconsin, the success that they have had defensively is appealing to him and he sees himself as a fit in the schemes run by the Badgers as well.
Head coach Dave Andersen developed a track record of developmental success while at Utah State and has brought that same acumen to Madison. It's something that Smith has noticed.
"Wisconsin is a great program, obviously, he's just going to bring more to it. I like that and they're high on my list," he said.
Smith's voice changes a bit when asked about his childhood favorite, USC.
"Their tradition with linebackers and Brian Cushing. Their linebackers coach Peter Simon and Clay Matthews -- all of the above," he said. "It's just a great school, the education is unreal, and it's a good fit. I love what coach Sark is bringing. They're going to do a lot of great things and have a lot of great recruits coming in, so they'll be up there this year, they'll be a great team and compete for a national championship. They're rising."
Telling a younger Cameron Smith that he would one day consider playing football for UCLA would probably be met with disbelief, but as the recruiting process has gone along, he's started to pay more serious attention to USC's chief rival.
"I love defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich -- he's one of the best in the game right now. He's not making it easy at all. He's a great guy and the team's going to do great things as well. Head coach Jim Mora has brought great things to the table, so they're going to be great for a long time."
All four of the top schools in Smith's list right now seem like strong contenders to land official visits in the fall. Since he probably only visit schools like Wisconsin and Tennessee, those schools will have a make a big impression quickly when given the opportunity. And there's some room for another program to sneak in as well, perhaps Oregon or perhaps Alabama if head coach Nike Saban pulls the trigger on an offer.
The way Smith talks about the Trojans, though, it's hard to imagine him leaving the state.
The big linebacker wants to take his official visits early in his senior season and then make a decision by mid-October. But as much as he wants to get the process over with, he also wants to be careful that he makes the right decision.