Jeremiah Smith

No Regrets For Nation’s Top Prospect Jeremiah Smith In Signing With Ohio State

SAN ANTONIO — The last few days of the 2024 recruiting cycle leading up to the Early Signing Period were certainly chaotic for Ohio State. The Buckeyes were looking to hold on to a few of their five-star prospects, including the nation’s top overall prospect, five-star wide receiver Jeremiah Smith.

A big push from the in-state trio of Florida, Florida State, and Miami (FL) continue throughout the first day of the Early Signing Period, but Smith ultimately announced he was sticking with the Buckeyes and filed his paperwork later that evening.

“I knew that I wanted to be a Buckeye since I committed (last December),” Smith told on Tuesday afternoon. “Coach Brian Hartline and coach Ryan Day knew that I wanted to be a Buckeye. I was just taking some visits and everybody kind of built everything up. It was kind of stressful at the end but I just prayed to God to help make the best decision for me, and that was Ohio State.”

After Smith’s announcement that he was sticking with the Buckeyes, several hours passed before his letter of intent was officially signed and received, causing quite a bit of panic on social media from Ohio State fans. It was all procedural, however, as rumors of Smith wavering or not being sure about his decision were proven false.

“There weren’t any second thoughts,” Smith recalled. “It was just a paperwork situation. I was just out eating with my family and my phone was just blowing up, coaches texting me from other programs, ‘why didn’t you send in your (letter of intent)’, stuff like that. But we were just waiting on Ohio State, just waiting to make sure everything was right with the paperwork.”

The paperwork was finally signed and received that Wednesday night capping off a chaotic few days. Ultimately though, Smith was able to block out the noise and trust in his family to make the decision that he wanted to make. He went through the process in his own way and without regrets.

“The weekend going into Signing Day, I wasn’t answering my phone,” he said. “I was just having a good time with my family. Then Monday and Tuesday, that’s when it really got hectic. I had exams, coaches wanted to talk to me, I had workouts, award ceremonies. I feel like I handled it pretty well. I controlled the process and I didn’t let any coach force me into anything that I didn’t want to do.”

On the Ohio State end, it was a nervous few days for wide receivers coach Brian Hartline. The Buckeyes’ ace recruiter has put several years into his relationship with Smith which ultimately paid off with the nation’s top pass catcher keeping his commitment.

“He handled everything well,” Smith said of Hartline. “He was a little worried but the whole time I was a Buckeye. But the relationship with me and coach Hartline is great. I’ve known him since my freshman year. He’s a very good coach, a very good guy. He doesn’t just care about football, he cares about you off the field as well.”

Many, including some here on the Buckeye Huddle staff, have referred to Smith as a generational talent. The type of receiver that only comes around every so often. That’s a monster label for an 18 year old. Smith is humbled by the praise but knows there is still work to do.

“It’s kind of wild,” Smith said of being called a generational talent. “Just being labeled that is something crazy, saying that I don’t come around but like once every 10 years. It’s a blessing, you can’t take it for granted. But I’m still just steady working, don’t let all of that get to me. I’m blessed to be able to be called that, but I still have work to do.”

Hear more from the nation’s top prospect in our one-on-one interview from the All-American Bowl practice in San Antonio.

Go to discussion...