Jeremiah Smith went through the process but was ‘always locked in on Ohio State’

Throughout the fall, Jeremiah Smith made a very convincing argument that he was the top high school player in the nation. Physically dominant and a smooth route runner, the Florida wide receiver is a huge get for Ohio State and head coach Ryan Day.

A huge recruiting win, even if Smith made them sweat a bit during the process.

Smith was rumored throughout the fall to be a potential flip candidate to Florida State as well as several SEC programs. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound wide receiver from Chaminade-Madonna had 90 catches for 1,389 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns as he pieced together a truly outstanding senior season.

Smith will play on Saturday at the Alamodome (San Antonio, Texas) in the All-American Bowl (1:00 p.m. ET, NBC). He is a five-star recruit and the top-ranked player in the 2024 class according to 247Sports.

He took visits, including an early December official to Florida State, but he ended up signing with Ohio State on the first day of the early signing period.

“It was part of the process. Ohio State told me they had no problem with me taking a visit. There was the narrative that every time I went on a visit, I was ready to flip. But I was locked in on Ohio State, there was nothing too serious,” Smith told USA TODAY High School Sports this week in a phone interview following an All-American Bowl practice.

But interestingly and despite the public narrative, Florida State wasn’t the main threat for Ohio State to land Smith.

“The only school that I would have given Ohio State a chance was Miami,” Smith said.

Chaminade-Madonna finished the season 14-0 and was second in the nation in the final USA TODAY HSS Super 25.

It was a big bounce back from the way last year ended for Smith’s team, with a 49-14 loss to Bishop Gorman in the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series.

“I mean we got a great, great year. With the young offensive line and the strong receiving corps and a senior quarterback and a running back – we just came in this year and just wanted to win it all. That last game last year against Bishop Gorman, we said that will never happen again. So we all just wanted to work through the season,” Smith said.

“That loss right there, that humbled a lot. We thought we were all that. We went up there, Bishop Gorman punched us in the mouth. It humbled us to never feel that feeling again.”


Story originally appeared on High School Sports