Smith Says Pledge Not Imminent

After a weekend in Columbus that saw him spend time at both wide receiver and running back, four-star prospect Roderick Smith's future was the subject of all kinds of speculation. In this interview with BuckeyeSports.com, he offers his thoughts on his future position, Ohio State and his timetable for making a decision on a college.

Ohio State fans holding their breath for a quick Roderick Smith verbal commitment might want to go ahead and exhale.

Although recent buzz has pegged the four-star running back prospect from Fort Wayne (Ind.) Paul Harding as a likely candidate to become member No. 5 of OSU's 2010 recruiting class, Smith told BuckeyeSports.com that such rumors are just that.

"The earliest commitment I probably will give will be right after my senior football season," he said. "I'm really not stressing over it too much. I still have one more football season to go so I'm going to wait until then."

A 6-3½, 215-pound running back, Smith is ranked by Scout.com as the No. 11 tailback in the country. As a junior, he rushed for 1,685 yards and 15 touchdowns, bringing his career rushing total to 5,285 yards.

The Buckeyes took notice and became one of three schools to issue him a scholarship, a move that caught Smith off guard.

"I was pretty surprised," he said. "I didn't know it was going to be so soon. I was just shocked. I'm a lot interested because I know in the past they've always had great running backs and great linemen that help block. That's what I really like about them."

During the March 28 weekend, Smith was on OSU's campus for a 7-on-7 tournament that was not attended by the Buckeye coaching staff. While there, he drew attention for his ability to line up at wide receiver as well.

He is still being recruited as a running back, he said, but added that it was nice to show off his abilities as a wideout as well.

"It was real good," he said of the event. "I played a little bit coming out of the backfield and I played a lot of slot action and wide receiver action where I got to show my receiving skills. A lot of schools haven't seen what I can do as a wide receiver. Out wide, I think I can go up and get the ball and when I get in the open field I can create misses for myself."

Given the choice, Smith said he prefers to stick at running back because that position gets the ball more.

Smith also holds scholarship offers from Purdue and Iowa. Georgia has been showing interest as well but has not yet extended a scholarship offer.

When asked what he hopes to find in a school, Smith said, "A school that runs the ball a pretty nice amount and is a good program with good coaches."

Smith is being recruited by OSU running backs coach Dick Tressel.

"He's a great guy," Smith said. "He's fun to talk to. He's just an all-around great person. He says they like the way I'm a big back, strong and explosive and I'm very quick for a big back. I can do a lot of things that a lot of big backs can't do.

"Every time I talk to (the Buckeyes) they always make sure I stay focused and do what I've got to do to hit the books and stay in touch with them to help me keep my grades up."

The trip for the 7-on-7 tournament was not his first to Columbus, and it likely will not be his last. Smith said he is working on a return trip for the team's spring game, set for April 25.

For now, his goals are to get in the best shape possible before hitting the summer camp circuit. He will also be running track this spring and has been timed at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash.


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