Editor’s Note: A previous version of this piece stated that Smith had signed his NLI with OSU. As of 5pm, his signed NLI had not been received by any school. This piece has been edited to state Smith reaffirmed his commitment to OSU, not signed his NLI for clarity and accuracy.
In the world of recruiting, you win some, and you lose some. Miami lost a big one today when Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna 5-star WR Jeremiah Smith — the #1 player in America — spurned the hometown Canes and reaffirmed his commitment to Ohio State on the first day of the Early Signing Period.
5-star WR Jeremiah Smith sticks with Ohio State.— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) December 20, 2023
Even if getting Smith to stay home in Miami was always going to be a tough task, this is still one of the biggest misses in this class for the Canes.
At 6’4” 200lbs, Smith is everybody’s All-American. He has prototypical size, incredible skill, and elite performances in every game he’s played for the past 3 years, and likely longer than that. He’s a finalist for the MaxPreps National Player of the Year. And the list goes on and one. To let a player of this caliber, and his rare combination of size and ability get away is yet-another bad, bad miss at the receiver position for Miami.
I’m sure you know the list of elite receivers from South Florida who have gone places other than Miami in the past period of time. Guys like Amari Cooper. Jerry Jeudy. Calvin Ridley. Brandon Inniss. Ja’Corey Brooks. Xavier Williams. And now, unfortunately, Smith joins that group, and will ply his trade for a team other than Miami.
No, there is no such thing as a “must get” recruit. And yes, Miami has a pair of All-American WRs already signed in the 2024 recruiting class in Ny Carr and Smith’s HS teammate Jojo Trader, but missing on Smith is another in a long line of misses on the top local players for Miami.
After Smith’s early commitment to OSU more than a year ago, everybody, Miami included, was facing an uphill battle in this recruitment. Miami and Florida State (and others, but those were the top teams) tried their best to get Smith to flip. Both schools got the talented receiver on campus no fewer than 5 times each. But, it still wasn’t enough. Damn.
So the work was there. The effort was made. The pitches were given. But, in the end, Brian Hartline’s track record of success in developing receivers at Ohio State was too much for Miami, or anyone, to overcome for the #1 player in America.
I hate it, but that’s life.
More on Miami recruiting through the Early Signing Period and towards National Signing Day in February.