Jeremiah Smith Ohio State Buckeyes Wide Receiver

Positive Reviews Rolling In For ‘Different Caliber’ Jeremiah Smith

Jeremiah Smith is the most-hyped receiver to ever sign with Ohio State, and as with everything else, Smith seems to be making expectations like those easy to handle.

Smith is not the first No. 1 receiver in a recruiting class to sign with the Buckeyes. In fact, he’s the fourth since the 2020 class, joining Julian Fleming (2020), Emeka Egbuka (2021), and Brandon Inniss (2023).

Things have been different with Jeremiah Smith, however. The positive reviews started back in the winter and have just kept continuing. Spring practice is now underway and the noise has only gotten louder. The most recent exclamation was Smith losing his black stripe on Thursday after just four practices. No Buckeye freshman has ever shed his black stripe faster.

“I will say there’s nothing he really can’t do,” Egbuka said this spring. “He runs fast. He jumps high. He’s strong. He’s a natural pass catcher. I mean, yeah, I mean, freak.”

Smith is listed at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds. All of the physical aspects are there, but they wouldn’t be nearly as effective without the right approach mentally.

“He’s very coachable,” Egbuka said. “I do my best to uplift the young guys and give them pointers here and there, and he’s always willing to listen. He always puts his best foot forward every single day. He hates to lose. He’s a competitor, which is huge, especially in Zone 6. So I think he has a bright future here. Already is crying out for a bigger role this year.”

Live, Laugh, Love

Most freshmen spend their time trying to feel their way through. The darkness of the room can sometimes be overwhelming. Smith, however, brings his own light to every situation.

“I love the way he lives,” said receivers coach Brian Hartline. “I love the way he approaches things. I love the questions he asks. I love the way he makes mistakes, and then corrects mistakes. It’s very veteran-like.”

Smith is just scratching the surface, but his scratches go quite a bit deeper than most.

“I mean, there’s so much ball he has to learn,” Hartline said. “Like, he literally does things that are good, and I’m like, ‘You know why that worked?’ He goes, ‘Coach, I have no frickin’ idea.’ So I’m trying to teach him all of that, why it works. So then the consistency at which it works just goes through the roof. But I’m very excited and proud of the conversations we’re currently having, and I’m excited for them to keep going.”

The Exception To The Rule

Brandon Inniss was the No. 1 receiver in the 2023 class per Rivals. He wasn’t able to enroll early last year, so is going through his first spring just like Jeremiah Smith.

The two go back way further than these past few months at Ohio State, however. They go back even further than their high school days when they were at two of the dominant programs in the nation. Inniss played at American Heritage High School in Hollywood, Florida, while Smith was at Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Miami.

“I played with Jeremiah when I was 10 and 11, and then we played against each other a couple years of high school,” Inniss said. “The growth he’s made over these years, it’s insane. The way his body has changed is crazy. And now seeing him out here today, it’s like everything’s come full circle. He was the best player in the country last year, and for me, seeing him grow up and things like that, it’s been really good to see.”

It is rare for true freshman receiver to find a way into the regular rotation at Ohio State. It is even rarer for that player to break into the starting lineup. With the Buckeyes losing Marvin Harrison, Jr., Julian Fleming, and Xavier Johnson from the receiver room, there is a need for players to step up.

One of those players could very well be Jeremiah Smith, especially when you ask Brandon Inniss.

“I feel like Jeremiah, I mean, he’s definitely a different caliber,” Inniss said. “When you watch him and how smooth he is and the physical abilities he brings to the game, I feel like he has to play. Some way he has to play because he will better the team.”

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