Future Forecast: Devin Smith

Devin Smith had to wait until after his junior year of high school to get a coveted Ohio State offer, but he could find a wide open depth chart when he gets to Columbus next fall. Or, he might find a logjam at wide receiver. We look into the crystal ball in the newest Future Forecast.

When Devin Smith arrives (along with fellow 2011 verbal commitment Evan Spencer and very likely at least one more receiver yet to accept an OSU offer) at Ohio State in 2011, he figures to offer another sizable target with soft hands.

The three-star prospect's junior highlights show a big athlete who moves smoothly and snatches the ball out of the air with both hands when it is thrown his way.

He can win jump balls in the end zone and flashed the ability to run past defenders in one-on-one coverage.

With the ball in his hands, he does not display much elusiveness, but he is able to turn the corner when provided with some space to move if he catches the ball on the run.

Already an Ohio Division I state champion in the long jump, the Massillon Washington product does not lack explosiveness, and his solidly put together frame looks as if it could easily carry another 20 pounds on top of the 175 he is now listed at.

How quickly will he find the field once he dons scarlet and gray? The answer could be, "very".

There figure to be anywhere from seven to 10 players at the position in 2011, depending on how a few situations work themselves out.

DeVier Posey, Ohio State's leading receiver in 2009, will have a season of eligibility remaining in 2011, but another big year in 2010 could lead him to declare for the NFL draft.

Should Posey leave, Ohio State figures to be very young at wide receiver in 2011, particularly with the availability of Duron Carter dependent upon what he does during a year in junior college.

Because Chris Fields and James Jackson of the class of 2009 redshirted as freshmen, none of the receivers on the 2011 roster will have more than one year of actual playing time aside from Posey.

Much could change in a year, of course, after Fields and Jackson along with 2010 signees James Louis, Tyrone Williams and Corey Brown get their chances to impress this fall, but it is not hard to see Smith - or fellow 2011 verbal commitment Evan Spencer - making a name for himself early in his Ohio State career.

When all is said and done, Smith's best role in Ohio State's offense looks to be perimeter deep threat while quick-footed types like Fields, Jackson and Louis work in the slot.


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