Considering the Kentucky High School Athletic Association had banned 7-on-7 competitions this year before recently rescinding the rule, Smith is surprised to have the same number of teams UK did last year.
"I didn't think we would have this many. It wasn't long ago that we didn't even think we were having a passing camp," Smith said.
However, Kentucky will also have close to 300 players at its skills camp. Smith says head coach Rich Brooks' attitude is one reason so many players want to attend camp at Kentucky.
"Coach Brooks is really good about letting kids having a chance to earn a scholarship with what they do at camp," Smith said. "It's good for him to go around and see these kids work out in person and not just on a tape. Every year that I have been there he has offered someone a scholarship based on camp performance."
Kentucky had its best overall recruiting class in Brooks' tenure this season, and Smith is anxious to have them all on campus.
"That is going to happen within the next two weeks. You want to get them in here and get them adjusted to college life. And that's not only athletically with our weight and conditioning program, but also socially," Smith said. "Getting past that homesickness is huge. Bringing them in the summer and allowing them to be on scholarship is one of best things the NCAA has ever done."
He says giving players a head start academically has also led to more players graduating, including many who do so early now.
"This way kids can adjust to the academics without the pressure of practice and games," Smith said. "That's made a huge difference for a lot of kids, and with the emphasis on academics, that's the way it should be for the players."