Among the recruits watching the coaching developments at Ohio State on Monday was Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers 2013 linebacker Jaylon Smith. Already sporting an offer from the Buckeyes, Smith is in favor of the hire.
"I think it is a great pickup," Smith said. "He's a great coach and has a lot of experience. Coming in, I think he will bring in some SEC players to the Big Ten, so it should be a nice adjustment for Ohio State."
For Smith, the hire had added meaning because his brother, Rod Smith, is a redshirt freshman for the Buckeyes.
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"I was talking to my brother earlier and they had a meeting today with the coach," Smith said. "He was talking about some of the formations they are going to be running. My brother is really pumped for it, so I can't wait to see how it all turns out."
The younger Smith plays running back in high school, but said unequivocally that he will be playing the linebacker position in college. His junior season concluded Friday night with Bishop Luers taking home their third straight Class 2A state title in a 41-17 win over Evansville Mater Dei.
"It feels good just to be able to accomplish something like that and make history at our school," Smith said. "It's really just an honor to experience something like that three years back-to-back."
The 6-3, 210-pound Smith doubled as a running and linebacker for Bishop Luers this fall. He estimated his final season stats at 160 carries for 1,200 yards and 31 total touchdowns on offense with 8.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss on defense.
Seven schools have already offered Smith a scholarship. Besides Ohio State, the list also includes Indiana, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Purdue and Tennessee. His team's run through the state playoffs superseded college visits for the last month, but he does plan to resume taking trips this winter.
"I haven't set up anything yet, but I'm sure in a few weeks or months I'll be visiting some schools," Smith said. "Right now I am just enjoying this third championship. It's the off-season now and basketball started today, so I've got to transition into that."