football Edit

All-American Bowl: Jeremiah Smith is glad his recruitment is behind him

Jeremiah Smith
Jeremiah Smith

SAN ANTONIO - Jeremiah Smith did not intend to cause National Signing Day drama - but the five-star receiver was the story of the day anyway.

After announcing that he would stick with his long-term Ohio State commitment and sign with the Buckeyes (Smith swore he signed the paperwork at his school) over Miami and Florida State, Smith didn’t send in his paperwork for hours.

And hours.


MORE FROM SAN ANTONIO: Three-Point Stance | East takeaways from Day 1 | West takeaways from Day 1 | Gatlin Bair reacts to Michigan, Oregon bowl wins

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2026 RANKINGS: Rivals100

TRANSFER PORTAL: Latest news | Transfer search | Transfer tracker/player ranking (football) | Transfer team ranking (football) | Transfer tracker/player ranking (basketball) | Transfer team ranking (basketball) | Rivals Portal Twitter



It became such a convoluted and confusing situation that was not rectified until much later in the night - and it gave other programs one final opening to try to flip him.

“My phone was going off and going off, why is my phone going off,” Smith said after Day 1 of practice at the All-American Bowl. “I signed but I didn’t send my paperwork in so everybody was texting me. You have Miami texting me, Florida State, Florida texting me just saying, ‘Did you send your paperwork in?’ ‘No not yet, they’re trying to figure out if my paperwork is all good.’

“My phone was going off. Florida, Miami and Florida State were still texting me. They were like, ‘Did you send it in?’ I said, ‘No, not yet.’ Miami was like, ‘Don’t send it in. We want you to be a Hurricane.’”

Thing is, the five-star receiver almost flipped to Miami. At least, seriously considered it once Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna four-star QB Cedrick Bailey landed a late offer from the Hurricanes.

But the offer came too late and Bailey decided to stick with his long-standing NC State pledge. Asked if Bailey flipped to Miami, what would Smith have done, he just laughed. And thought about it.

“When he got the offer and when he went down there and trained and stuff like that, it was like, ‘What do you want to do?’” Smith said. “I said ‘Wherever you go, I might go.’ His dad told me he was sticking with NC State and he felt that was the best fit for him.”

After everything, after years of recruiting and after Miami finished in second place and Florida State in third, Smith stuck with the Buckeyes. His relationship with coach Ryan Day and position coach Brian Hartline were so crucial to Smith’s final decision.

“(Hartline) told me he was staying,” Smith said. “He told me he wanted to coach me, coach Brandon Inniss and Carnell Tate and he doesn’t want to leave right now. He just bought a house and he wants to be a Buckeye and coach college football, that’s what he told me.”

The No. 1 player in the 2024 class, Smith has been committed to Ohio State since last December and signed with the Buckeyes. After everything, all the visits and all the rumors and innuendo, Smith stuck with Ohio State.

After everything, the five-star receiver is excited to focus on something else. Something more important than the recruiting process.

“It’s not fun at all,” Smith said. “You have coaches calling your phone each and every day, every hour and you’re in class and your phone is going off. The teachers are asking, ‘Who’s phone is going off every second,’ and I have to tell them it’s college coaches calling me and texting me.

“It’s really stressful but you just have to think about where you want to go and who you want to be coached by. … I’ve wanted to be a Buckeye ever since I committed. Everybody built a narrative saying I was flipping but I wanted to be a Buckeye.”