Looking back: Devin Smith

Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith was one of the top playmakers on last season's national title team, and he is set to begin his journey to the NFL with the New York Jets. Bill Greene takes a look back at Smith's high school career.

Devin Smith

School: Massillon Washington, Ohio.

Projected position: 2011 Wide receiver.

Size: 6-foot-2, 190-pounds.

Ranking: Four-star prospect.

Recruiting: Committed to Ohio State.

Overall rank: Number-29 wide receiver in America.

MY FIRST MEETING: Much like Doran Grant, my first time seeing Devin Smith was at an Akron University summer camp. Smith was a sophomore about to transfer from Akron Ellet to Massillon. The speed was evident, although the body seemed slight and frail. However, Smith caught everything in sight and was a tough cover for some pretty talented defensive backs. I interviewed Smith that day and put him into the Scout database, marking him as one of the top 2011 prospects in Ohio. I remember trying to goad Akron head coach J.D. Brookhart into offering Smith that day to give me a great story, and looking back he definitely should have done so. For the record, I wrote 15 articles on Smith as a high school player and look on back on him as a polite, intelligent, intense individual. He was beyond gracious with me, and I think a lot of him as a person and player.

EARLY EVALUATION: [Here is what I wrote about Smith on June 11, 2009:] Smith recently competed in a camp held by the University of Akron. Although one of the youngest players participating, Smith's talent was clearly evident.

He ran consecutive forty-yard dashes under 4.55, and turned in a great shuttle time as well. Smith measured in at 6-1 and weighed 175 pounds.

Smith, who is also a star basketball player, exhibited great hands and was explosive running his routes. As a sophomore at Akron Ellet in 2008, he had over 800 yards receiving and caught 12 touchdown passes. He added over 600 yards rushing, scoring six touchdowns on the ground.

MY GREATEST MOMENT FOR SMITH: Devin had formed a great friendship with incoming freshman quarterback Braxton Miller in high school, and the two of them wanted to play together for the Buckeyes. The only problem was the fact that Smith did not hold an offer. He was told that to earn an Ohio State offer Smith would have to tear up the Buckeye summer camp. With Miller throwing the ball to him and trying to help him, Smith dazzled the Ohio State staff and walked away with the offer he wanted most. He committed soon after that. Fast forward to the Wisconsin game when both Miller and Smith were true freshmen, and there's my greatest memory for Devin. Even though it was a horrid season on the field for the Buckeyes, Smith got deep on the Badger secondary (coached by Chris Ash, no less), and caught the game winner with less than a minute to play. As he celebrated with Miller on the sidelines, I remembered that hot day in June when both also celebrated Smith being offered by Ohio State.

MY LASTING MEMORY: The three-game stretch against Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon was worth millions to Smith, and I couldn't be happier for him. Had he finished his senior season the way he did as a junior, his name would definitely not have been called by the NFL as quickly as it was. How about a stat line of 7 catches for 269 yards, with 4 touchdowns in the three biggest games of Ohio State's championship season? Puts him in the books as one of the Buckeyes all-time greats at the wide receiver position.

Here are highlights of Smith in action vs. GlenOak as a senior:

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