HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Our Southern Swing tour heads south to a familiar school at Chaminade Madonna Prep, a place that has been good to the Buckeyes here recently. The next name up is Jeremiah ‘JJ’ Smith, a tall and talented wideout from the class of 2024.
Ohio State recently picked up signees with Ryan Turner and Kenyatta Jackson and would love to have Smith follow in kind, but it won’t be a walk in the park as Jeremiah is a national recruit and will be recruited up until the final moments, commitment somewhere or not.
One thing is for certain, the Buckeyes want this commitment and have been sure to let Smith know that he can commit whenever he is ready to, even as a member of the class of 2024, with more than 18 months until the first opportunity to sign.
“Coach (Ryan) Day said that me and Dylan (Raiola), from Arizona, were like the only two that they really have come hard at,” Smith said. “(Being) young, class of 2024, they said there is nobody that they are coming hard at like us two.”
The Buckeyes have this recruiting thing down, putting together the top class in the Big Ten yearly, top-five national classes yearly. To be in that rare air must mean a thing or two.
“It feels great,” Smith added. “To see that they are more interested in me than others, see my work ethic and see how I produce on the field, yeah.”
You can’t find a high school wide receiver that is not talking about Ohio State receiver coach Brian Hartline. The former Ohio State player turned coach has been a ringer in terms of recruiting since assuming a full-time coaching role and players are well-aware of what he has been able to do in terms of development of players and getting them ready for the ultimate level, the NFL.
“He’s really helping kids get better each and every day, he’s willing to help you get better,” Smith said. “With me, he told me to call him any time, I call him and ask him what I need to work on. He really just wants you to be great.”
Check out what else Smith had to say in our exclusive Southern Swing interview and be sure to follow our trip through Florida and beyond as we come to the midway point of our excursion.