The well-known Glenville High School to Ohio State pipeline was alive and well in the 2014 recruiting class as the Buckeyes added three more Tarblooders to their roster.
Take a trip down memory lane as we breakdown his recruitment and his future in Columbus, as we bring you "Bucks to the Future", the story of Erick Smith.
Weight: 185 pounds
247Sports Composite: No. 9 safety, 3rd best player in the state of Ohio and the 66th overall player in the 2014 recruiting class.
High School: Glenville High School, Cleveland, Ohio.
Before the Buckeyes made their way onto Smith's radar, the talented in-state safety had already received scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Illinois, Louisville, North Carolina State and West Virginia.
Ohio State made their move on the Glenville star in January of 2013. On Jan. 13, Smith made the trip from Cleveland to Columbus and took his first unofficial visit to Ohio State. Just four days after making his visit, the Buckeyes joined the picture and offered him. Following the Buckeyes, Smith would then pick up an offer from the rival Wolverines of Michigan in February. Three months later, Smith would make a return trip to the Ohio State campus.
For a pretty quiet recruitment, July of 2013 was a very busy one for Smith. He and his Glenville teammates took a trip to Tuscaloosa and made an unofficial visit to Alabama. After visiting the Crimson Tide, Smith would then participate in Ohio State's Friday Night Lights camp before heading to the BBQ in Ann Arbor on July 28.
On Nov. 8, Buckeyes Head Coach Urban Meyer went to watch Erick Smith and his teammates Marshon Lattimore and Marcelys Jones as they took on Brush High School in the DII playoff opener. The Glenville trio lead their team to a 35-0 win in that game.
On Nov. 8, Erick Smith was selected to play in the 2014 U.S Army All-American Game, where he would later make his commitment. Later in this month, he would give Alabama an official visit as he watched the Crimson Tide beat down Louisiana State, 38-17, in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Once December rolled around, Smith was about a month away from his decision which would be made in January. The Tarblooder safety and his teammate Marshon Lattimore officially visited Georgia Tech, who were one of the first schools to offer him. Following the visit to the Yellow Jackets, the two highly-touted prospects went straight to Ohio State for an official visit on Dec. 13-15. This would end up being the last visit that Smith would take.
The process wasn't over yet, though. Smith had planned to announce at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, but plenty of rumors and speculation began coming out. Some of the word that was going around was that the Glenville trio wanted to visit Kentucky. Also, word got around that Smith wanted to check out Michigan and Michigan State before making his decision. That did not come to fruition. Smith did not end up taking those visits and despite all of the speculation that he was no longer announcing at the Army game, he did.
On Jan. 4, in the second quarter of the 2014 U.S Army All-American Game, Erick Smith announced his commitment to the Buckeyes of Ohio State. Smith chose the Buckeyes over Alabama, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Michigan. On Feb. 5, Smith made things official after signing his National Letter of Intent with Ohio State.
Smith and Pennsylvania native Malik Hooker are likely the only two safety prospects that the Buckeyes picked up in the 2014 recruiting class. They did grab Marshon Lattimore and Damon Webb, who are going to be cornerbacks at the next level. From an immediate impact standpoint, Smith is in a great position to see time when the Buckeyes season gets rolling.
The Buckeyes are looking to make plenty of changes in the secondary with new coach Chris Ash. From the looks of things, the safety spot should be in a good hands with a young but talented core of Cam Burrows, Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell. But Smith is right there and has a good chance at making some sort of impact as a freshman for the Buckeyes because of the lack of depth at safety.
Did you know...
Erick Smith is the third Cleveland Glenville (OH) prospect to join the Buckeyes after the hiring of Urban Meyer. The first two were Chris Worley and Marcelys Jones.