JUCO WR Corey Smith Makes 23 for 2013 Class
By Michael Chung
Leave it to Urban Meyer to make headlines out of nowhere. Just when news had seemingly gone dark with wide receiver Corey Smith, the junior college prospect made a sudden commitment to the Buckeyes on Tuesday.
With Ezekiel Elliott visiting Missouri over the weekend, Dontre Wilson is reportedly 50/50 between Ohio State and Oregon heading into National Signing Day. Recently offered Ryan Timmons was waiting in the lurch, but Smith came out of no where to become the 23rd member of Ohio State’s 2013 class.
Scout.com was the first to report that Smith was decommitting from Mississippi State in order to become a Buckeye. He was rumored to be closing in on a commitment after his official visit to Columbus earlier this month.
Now the i’s and t’s have been dotted and crossed the Ohio native is now slated to become a Buckeye instead of an MSU Bulldog where he would have played under one time Urban Meyer assistant Dan Mullen.
The 6-0, 185-pound wideout is no stranger to Ohio, having graduated from Akron Buchtel High School, where he was considered to be one of the top wide receivers in the state.
Former OSU running back Antonio Pittman, who played for the Buckeyes from 2004-2006, then in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints then St. Louis Rams and is currently with the Omaha Nighthawks, was also an Akron Buchtel product.
Smith originally committed to the Tennessee Volunteers out of high school but spent time at a pair of community colleges after graduation. He went 10-0 at Grand Rapids Community College two years ago, and this past season was spent at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, Mo.
He committed to Dan Mullen and Mississippi State but was planning another visit to Knoxville before Urban Meyer poached this one-time Ohio high school product back into the home state.
Smith could see the field immediately at Ohio State, helping Corey Brown, Devin Smith and company to stretch the field, opening up more lanes for Braxton Miller, Carlos Hyde, Jordan Hall and Bri’onte Dunn to run through.
After two years of junior college, Smith now has three years left to complete two years of eligibility. If he plays immediately for the Buckeyes in 2013, he would have only one more season at Ohio State. If he redshirts this fall, Smith will be in Columbus through the 2015 season.
Rated as a 4-star prospect by both Scout and Rivals.com, Smith was being pursued by a number of SEC schools, including Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia while also garnering interest from Akron, Ball State, West Virginia, Arizona State, Michigan State, Penn State and Nebraska.
With playmakers Taivon Jacobs and Jalin Marshall already in the mix for 2013, and Gareon Conley having the versatility to switch to WR, OSU is looking in really good shape for the next two years (the amount of eligibility Corey possesses).
Where does this leave Ryan Timmons and Darren Carrington? Probably on the outside looking in. The Buckeyes are still hoping to add Dontre Wilson, a dynamic playmaker out of DeSoto, Tex. along with 5-star safety Vonn Bell out of Georgia.
They may not have enough room to take another offensive lineman, which was originally the plan before Dan Skipper committed to Arkansas earlier this week. Their other main target on the line, Cameron Hunt, is down to Oregon and Cal according to 247 Sports.
We should know in the next few days how Smith’s commitment will create a domino effect on the rest of the class. Ezekiel Elliott de-committing would also have a huge impact but it sounds like the St. Louis product is still strongly committed to play for the Buckeyes.