COLUMBUS, Ohio — During Urban Meyer's press conference on National Letter of Intent day last Wednesday, the Ohio State head coach talked about the recruitment of Virginia defensive end Jalyn Holmes, specifically when he knew that the Buckeyes were in pretty good shape with Holmes.
Buckeyes Best Recruiter Not Yet Even in Kindergarten?
By Tony Gerdeman
"When I walk in Jalyn Holmes's house and he's on that Facebook or Facetime, whatever that is," Meyer said.
"He's sitting there talking to Zach Smith's son, I think four-year old son, for five or ten minutes. I knew we were in pretty good shape if he has a great relationship with Zach's son. So I usually can walk in because I'm kind of the closer. They set the ground work."
If Urban Meyer is the closer for the Buckeyes, then Zach Smith's son Cameron might just be the opener.
While Cameron, or "Cam" as he is known in the coaching industry, does not yet have his own Wikipedia page, it shouldn't be long before his recruiting legend warrants such immortalization, and don't be surprised if he finds himself near the top of 247's recruiter rankings next year when the 2015 class comes to a close.
Imagine a list with names like Mike Locksley, Luke Fickell and Cam Smith at the top. It could happen.
Zach Smith had one of those types of recruiting seasons in 2014, helping to bring in Holmes, Johnnie Dixon, Noah Brown and others, but he knows better than to take all of the credit. After all, friction can shatter the cohesiveness of a coaching staff.
"My son is four years old," Smith explained.
"But he's an outgoing and intelligent four-year old, so he's a better recruiter than I am, probably."
Smith then went on to explain Cam's tireless work ethic when it comes to securing future Buckeyes. Through rain, sleet, naps or snow, the recruiting prodigy never gets complacent. Weather may have stopped Tom Herman, but it has yet to contain Cam Smith.
"So we had just gotten snow up here," said Smith, "and my wife texted me, she said, 'Cam wants to talk to Jalyn.' Jalyn when he committed did an interview back in Norfolk and shouted Cam out on the radio when we were listening, and since then it's been unbelievable."
Since that day, Smith the Younger was bound and determined to improve the Ohio State defensive line. Leading the Big Ten in sacks last season may have been good enough for Urban Meyer or Luke Fickell, but not for Cameron Smith.
Jalyn Holmes may not have realized it at the time, but he was already stuck in Cam's recruiting tractor beam. The youngster set the tone with Dixon as well, no doubt bridging the generation gap between player and coach.
The sky really is the limit for Cameron, though he may have a difficult decision to make when it comes to grade school. Eight hours stuck in school learning how to spell and add is eight hours when recruits could be getting away.
The obvious answer, and one that Zach Smith has likely already thought of, is home schooling. Perhaps he could take some type of independent study track that would allow him to keep recruiting. After all, keeping Cam from working his phones would be like keeping a Lamborghini cooped up in a garage.
Stallions want to run, and Cameron wants to recruit.
School will always be there, but the nation's top defensive tackle may not be, and what better Father's Day gift than a five-star quarterback that runs a 4.46?
Like his father, Cameron knows how to reach out to today's youth, even though they're 13 years older than he is and they no longer believe in cooties.
He doesn't just get to know the player, he gets to know the person. What are their interests? Who is their favorite character on "Uncle Grandpa"? How late are they allowed to stay up at night? Things that football coaches would never think to ask.
Cameron Smith is The Opener. A child prodigy who is ahead of his time.
That new episode of "Spongebob" will have to wait because right now Cam is laying the groundwork with the next All-American left tackle at Ohio State.
Then maybe later he'll have a Fruit Roll-Up, if his mom lets him.
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