On Tuesday and Wednesday, Michigan got its chance to impress Olathe (Kan.) South five-star offensive lineman Braden Smith and parents.
The Wolverines did just that.
“He looked very comfortable there,” Smith’s father Dave told 247Sports. “He liked it. He really liked Coach (Brady) Hoke. He’s very personable and a players kind of coach. Down to earth.”
Ranked by the 247Composite as the nation’s No. 1 offensive guard, the 6-foot-6, 282-pound Smith hasn’t named any favorites early in the recruiting process, but schools he’s taking a hard look at includes Alabama, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and TCU, where his older sister is on the track team.
“One thing that impressed us, Coach Hoke even asked about his sister and how she’s doing at TCU,” the elder Smith said. “He knew who she was and asked questions about how she was doing. We were impressed by that.”
Sounds like Smith got to take in a lot of what Michigan could offer.
“He got to see practice,” Dave began. “He really enjoyed that a lot. He got to see what the line does and how they do their 1-on-1s and line drills. He enjoyed that very much. He got to see the Big House of course. That’s always impressive because he’s never seen a place that big. He got to meet Denard Robinson. That was pretty cool. We ended up luckily running into him. He’s a very nice gentlemen.
“He met all the coaches and spent a lot of time with Coach Hoke and Coach (Darrell) Funk and the offensive coordinator. He enjoyed that a lot. Got to see campus. Pretty much you’re regular visit stuff. He enjoyed it very much.”
One of the major things Smith is looking for in a college is tradition, and he definitely saw that in Ann Arbor.
“I’ll tell you what, we’re in Kansas City so we know all about the Kansas-Missouri rivalry,” Dave said. They were at the Buckeyes campus before heading over to see the Wolverines. “Just visiting Ohio State and then Michigan, we got a history lesson on how much that rivalry means between the two of them. It’s a huge rivalry. We just didn’t know what level it was at. It’s a pretty heated rivalry. One of the biggest things we took was the rivalry between the two teams. Rivalry makes the game even better. He loves to have rivals in high school and wants to have them in college.”
Up next for Smith is a trip to Notre Dame. He arrives in South Bend on Thursday afternoon and leaves Saturday morning. Besides this Midwest swing, Smith got a chance to take recent visits to Oklahoma, Alabama and Texas A&M.
Smith does not have a timetable for a college decision but plans to take a few of his official visits before deciding.
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