Could prized freshman wide receiver Jeremiah Smith start for Ohio State? He’s making a strong push

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Ryan Day doesn’t want to jump the gun, but the bullet that is Jeremiah Smith might have already left the chamber.

Smith was the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2024 recruiting class nationally. On signing day in December, Smith’s longtime commitment to Ohio State was in doubt when the wide receiver’s hometown Miami Hurricanes made a late push to sign him.

Mar 7, 2024; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jeremiah Smith (4) catches a pass during spring football practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

When Day got word that Smith officially was in the fold during his press conference, the Buckeyes coach’s knees buckled and he sighed in relief. Smith was deemed to be that special.

He has done nothing since then to dampen enthusiasm. On March 21, Smith became the first freshman to lose his black helmet stripe, signifying full-fledged status on the team.

On Saturday, Ohio State had its student appreciation practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Smith dazzled.

He caught several passes, often in traffic, showing his speed, toughness and hands. One highlight was a deep ball he caught with star defensive backs Denzel Burke and Caleb Downs in coverage.

“I’m going to be careful what I say,” Day said of Smith, “but he’s certainly a pleasure to watch, and we’re all very excited about his future.”

More: London Merritt commits to Ohio State 2025 recruiting class. Here’s what it means

Ohio State has produced a remarkable string of receivers in recent years – Chris Olave, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Marvin Harrison Jr., etc. – but none started as a freshman. All were eased in their first season before blossoming.

Smith might force that timetable to speed. Senior Emeka Egbuka and probably sophomore Carnell Tate are projected to be atop the receivers’ pecking order, but Smith looks poised to join them.

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Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/could-prized-freshman-wide-receiver-175234261.html

Author : The Columbus Dispatch

Publish date : 2024-03-30 17:52:34

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