« Football 2018

Cameron Smith

University of Southern California
Inside Linebacker


Cameron Smith will graduate this semester with a degree in communications from the prestigious Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

During the summer of 2017, Smith interned at Melville Winery in Lompoc, California, under the tutelage of head winegrower, Chad Melville. Throughout the internship, Smith was able to observe and participate in the different facets of the winemaking industry including viticulture (grape-growing), enology (the science of winemaking) and the wine business. He was able to apply his communication skills while working in the tasting room and interacting with customers. Smith has expressed interest in pursuing a master’s degree in wine and viticulture in the future. He also aspires to become a master sommelier.


Smith is a two-time captain of the USC football team.

Said another linebacker on the team: “Cameron is the quarterback of the defense. He exemplifies all the characteristics of a leader. The team looks up to him as both a vocal leader and someone who leads by example.”

From Smith: “I try to do the right things so they see me do it, and they’ll want to do it too. I always want the young guys to be the best they can possibly be, and I’ll do anything I can to help them get there. I have a really good grasp of the defense. If someone has a question, I want to help.”

Head Coach Clay Helton has described Smith as a man who believes in the team’s success over individual success.

Smith’s character extends far beyond the football field. On and off campus, he is known for being respectful, humble and a loyal friend. Coach Helton preaches that the greatest gift you can give someone is your time, and Smith takes that lesson to heart. He goes out of his way to be there for the people who need his advice and support. He’s an outstanding representative of the university, and he embodies what a Trojan is.


Smith is an athletic ambassador for two important charities: More Than 4 Athletics and the Jessie Rees Foundation. Smith uses his platform as a student-athlete to gain awareness for these outstanding causes. He wears awareness bracelets for each organization to help spark conversations. In addition, Smith posts on his social media platforms and reaches out to his large fan base to promote awareness for these philanthropies.

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold introduced Smith to the Jesse Rees Foundation, since he is an active supporter and advocate for their cause. The organization uses the motto “NEGU” to help children fighting cancer to “Never Ever Give Up,” while they support the children and their families monetarily, as well as provide the children with “Joy Jars” filled with toys.

More Than 4 was started by NFL defensive end Joey Bosa and cancer survivor Sean Fredella. The organization’s goal is to bring awareness and raise funds for pediatric cancer through the world of sports.


Smith, a four-year starter, is a 2018 Preseason All-American. As of September 13, he had 289 tackles, including 22 for losses (with 3.5 sacks), plus 12 deflections, 3 fumble recoveries and 4 interceptions (with a touchdown) in his career. As of nomination time he had appeared in 39 games in his career with 37 starts.

In both 2016 and 2017, Smith led the team in tackles. In the 2017 season, he recorded a team-high of 112 tackles and was the first Trojan since 2012 to have 100-plus tackles (and just the third since 2004). After last season, he was named to the CBSSports.com Midseason All-American First Team (unanimous pick), Phil Steele All-American Third Team, CollegeSportMadness.com All-American Third Team, All-Pac-12 First Team, AP All-Pac-12 Second Team, Athlon All-Pac-12 First Team and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 First Team, and he was named a semifinalist for the 2017 Butkus Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy.

He is currently on the watch lists for the 2018 Nagurski Trophy, Butkus Award, Bednarik Award and the Lott Impact Trophy.