Jeremiah Smith Impressive Early on, Here’s What Ohio State Coaches and Players Have Said About the Freshman WR

In his first spring with the Ohio State Buckeyes, five-star freshman wide receiver Jeremiah Smith has become all the talk in Columbus.

True freshman wide receiver Jeremiah Smith joined Ohio State as an early enrollee and turned heads from Day 1, both inside and outside the program. With spring practices underway, Smith has showcased the talent that made him the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2024 cycle. But what exactly have his teammates and coaches said thus far?

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True Freshman Ohio State WR Jeremiah Smith Dominating the Spring

Competing at Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Florida, Smith won three straight state titles to end his high school career. He finished with 177 catches, 3,116 yards, and 46 touchdowns, averaging a 59-1,038-15 statline across three seasons.

If that wasn’t enough, Smith also ran track, qualifying in the state 110 and 400-meter hurdles in his last three years, taking home gold medals in both during the Florida 1A meet in 2022.

He wasn’t just the No. 1 WR recruit or No. 1 prospect in the state; Smith was the No. 1 player in the 2024 cycle, receiving offers from practically every top program in the nation.

His decision came down to Ohio State and Miami, but he ultimately went with “who’s developing receivers into first-rounders.”

WRs coach Brian Hartline has routinely pumped out NFL prospects since joining the program in 2018, including Parris Campbell (2019, No. 59 overall), Terry McLaurin (2019, No. 76), Garrett Wilson (2022, No. 10), Chris Olave (2022, No. 11), Jaxon Smith-Njigba (2023, No. 20), and Marvin Harrison Jr., the top WR in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Senior Emeka Egbuka is next up on the conveyor belt, but Smith may eventually challenge MHJ for the best WR to come out of Ohio State in the program’s history.

Don’t take my word for it. Former Ohio State WR and current New Orleans Saint Michael Thomas named Smith “the next great one” in a post on X earlier this month.

Several players and coaches have also shared their early reviews of Smith. Following OSU’s first practice of the offseason, redshirt sophomore QB Devin Brown said, “Every time I throw to him, it’s like, ‘Geez, this kid’s a stud.’ He’s gonna be a freak.”

Egbuka shared a similar sentiment. “Freak. Freak athlete. … He put his head down and worked,” Egbuka explained. “There’s nothing he really can’t do. He runs fast. He jumps high. He’s strong. He’s a natural pass catcher. I mean, yeah, he’s a freak. … I think he has a bright future here.”

Presumed starting QB Will Howard also jumped on the hype train, dubbing Smith “a specimen” and saying, “I mean, that dude is a freak show when it comes to physical. I’m excited to see him out on the field in live action.”

Head coach Ryan Day has been careful not to feed the media machine, simply stating Smith has “jumped right in” and that the Buckeyes are “expecting big things” from him. Yet, Day let loose a bit after Smith’s highlight-reel performance during OSU’s Student Appreciation Day practice, calling the WR “a pleasure to watch.”

Smith’s first social media takeover catch of the day came against Jermaine Mathews Jr., who may have been called for pass interference during a real game. Nonetheless, the 6’3″, 215-pound WR came down with the contested catch, requiring little effort.


The next came on a pass from Brown, as Smith turned an overthrow into a huge offensive gain against CB Denzel Burke, prompting the defender to react on X:

“Iron sharpen iron. I dont wanna hear s— 🤣🤣🤣 4 da truth”


Too much pressure can crush a player, and too much hype can create unattainable expectations. But neither seems to be the case for Smith. He’s better than the big-bodied threat social media videos indicate, as he generates separation with snappy hips and dynamic athleticism. The scariest part? Hartline believes Smith is only scratching the surface of his potential.

“I love the way he approaches things. I love the questions he asks. I love the way he makes mistakes and then corrects mistakes. It’s very veteran-like,” Hartline said

“I mean, there’s so much ball he has to learn. Like, he literally does things that are good, and I’m like, ‘You know why that worked?’ He goes, ‘Coach, I have no frickin’ idea.’ So I’m trying to teach him all of that, why it works. So then the consistency at which it works just goes through the roof. But I’m very excited and proud of the conversations we’re currently having, and I’m excited for them to keep going.”

KEEP READING: 2024 Big Ten Weekly Football Schedule

While Day and Hartline typically lean toward more experienced players, they may not be able to keep Smith off the field, and he could produce earlier than Harrison Jr.

MHJ sat behind future first-rounders Wilson, Olave, and Smith-Njigba, putting up just 11 receptions for 139 yards and three TDs (6-71-3 of which came against Utah in the Rose Bowl that year).

Outside of Egbuka, high-pedigree WRs Carnell Tate (2023 five-star), Brandon Inness (2023 five-star), and Jayden Bullard (2021 four-star) will compete with Smith for playing time. However, Ohio State fans will be able to watch the WRs duke it out live during the Buckeyes’ spring game, which will air on FOX on Saturday, April 13, at Noon ET.

Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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