Ohio State's secondary mightily struggled over the duration of the 2013 season, but they got a little better today as Cleveland Glenville safety Erick Smith faxed his National Letter of Intent to Ohio State and is now officially a member of the football team.
The 6'1, 185-pound safety committed to the Buckeyes at the Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 4, just a day after he said he would hold off on a decision and visit other schools. That led to some speculation that Smith was not the Ohio State "lock" that almost everyone in the recruiting industry viewed him as. However, when Glenville head coach Ted Ginn Sr. arrived in San Antonio and talked to his star player, the decision was back on and he became a Buckeye once and for all.
Smith was one of the most impressive players throughout the week at the Army Bowl and was definitely one of the best players in the game, performing well in pass coverage and making almost every tackle he had the opportunity to make. While he's likely to play safety in Columbus, there's a chance he could move to cornerback if help is needed as he performed well at corner too during Army Bowl week. He will be a welcome addition to the Buckeye secondary.
In addition to his offer from Ohio State, Smith held offers from the likes of Alabama, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, and West Virginia.
Our Christopher Jason had a chance to take a look at Smith's tape and had this to say about the safety:
Smith is a rangy, ball-hawking safety that will most likely play free safety for the Buckeyes. He has the size to cover tight ends, speed to keep up with receivers and ball skills to play centerfield in Cover 1 or Cover 3. He is solid against the run but better against the pass. Smith is excellent at reading and reacting to the quarterback's hips and closing on the ball.
If you haven't had the chance to watch Smith in action, you can check out his highlights from December's state championship game below: