Originally found on CBS Sports:
Five-star wide receiver Jeremiah Smith has submitted his National Letter of Intent to the Buckeyes, the school announced Wednesday night. Smith reaffirmed his commitment to the Buckeyes in a ceremony earlier in the day, but Ohio State coach Ryan Day was informed that the team had not received his NLI as of the team’s press conference in the afternoon. After a few uncomfortable hours for Buckeyes fans, the team ended speculation on the matter with a social media announcement shortly after 10 p.m. ET.
Smith, the first receiver ever ranked as the No. 1 player in the 247Sports recruiting rankings, first committed to Buckeyes in December 2022 but was doggedly pursued by others while cementing himself as a rare talent.
Smith finished his high school career at powerhouse Chaminade-Madonna Prep in South Florida with over 3,000 yards receiving. As a senior, he caught 88 passes for 1,376 yards, leading his team to a 14-0 record. Amid that prolific production, Miami, Florida State and Florida stayed in hot pursuit of Smith leading up to the early signing period.
Florida State and Florida each had in-home visits with Smith this month, and Smith has close ties with several players who are committed to Miami, who made a strong push until the very end. Ultimately, he remained loyal to the Buckeyes, who continue to stand out as a destination for elite wide receiver prospects.
Jeremiah Smith’s game
As the cousin of former star West Virginia quarterback and current Seattle Seahawks star Geno Smith, Ohio State’s newest prize comes from an athletic pedigree. He began shining for Chaminade-Madonna Prep as a sophomore, and also starred in track during his high school career. Here is more on his game from 247Sports director of scouting Andrew Ivins:
An absolute bully at the catch point that will give defenses fits given the rare combination of his size, speed, and hands. Wasn’t always the biggest kid, but owns a more college-ready frame at roughly 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, and is likely only going to add more mass in the coming years as he has large features. Faster than quick, but doesn’t take long to hit his top gear in pads, and is one of the best in recent cycles at stacking defensive backs and attacking leverage. Has made a number of highlight-reel worthy grabs over the years – including a nifty one-handed snag as a senior on ESPN2 – and oftentimes comes down with whatever enters his orbit as he uses superb body control and impressive concentration to secure the prize.
Ivins compared Smith to Julio Jones, the former Alabama star and seven-time Pro Bowler currently with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Potential Impact on Ohio State
The status of Ohio State’s receiver room for 2024 remains up in the air as top targets Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka weigh their futures. Harrison is considered the No. 1 overall player in the 2024 CBS Sports NFL Draft Prospect Rankings, while Egbuka is ranked No. 20. But neither has made their future plans known yet. With No. 3 wide receiver Julian Fleming in transfer portal, there’s a chance the Buckeyes will be relying on a new group of wide receivers.
Considering the potential attrition at the position for the Buckeyes — along with the fact that they will be relying on a new starting quarterback following Kyle McCord’s transfer to Syracuse — landing Smith is huge. Ohio State signed three of the top-10 receivers in the 2023 recruiting class: Carnell Tate, Brandon Inniss and Noah Rogers. The Buckeyes should still boast a supremely talented receiving corps next season, even if Harrison and Egbuka declare for the draft.