|Braden Smith. Sam Soliday, Max Preps.
Position: Defensive/Offensive Line
Weight: 285 lbs.
Stat to Note
Smith's latest offer list includes Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M and Virginia.
Is it fair to say that Smith may be the most heavily recruited player in Sunflower League history? Quite possibly, yes. There certainly hasn't been a player who has received this type of recruiting attention since I've been affiliated with the Sunflower League (Free State's Christian Ballard was close, but not this early), and it's hard to say when the next freak like Smith will come through the league.
Physicality is what Smith's game is based on. He's yet to face a player in the state with his combination of size and strength (425-pound bench press and 500-pound squat) so for the most part he's going to maul just about anyone he goes up against. Last season he was a First Team All-Sunflower League selection on both the offensive and defensive lines. Occasionally you'll see a senior make the first team on both sides of the ball, but I don't ever recall a sophomore doing it.
As for as expectations go the sky is the limit for this kid. Last year on defense he recorded 59 tackles, two sacks and a blocked kick as a first-year varsity defensive tackle. I would expect him to nearly double those totals as a stronger, more experienced junior. Offensively, Olathe South is going to run behind him as much as possible. He's great at blocking head on and he's exceptional at pulling. Ultimately most college programs seem to be set on keeping him at the offensive tackle position at the next level.