The Early Signing Period changed the recruiting game a bit near the tail-end of 2017, and players who planned on announcing their commitment during one of the high school All-Star games would have to wait until after many of their classmates had already signed on the dotted line. This was the case for four-star DE Tyreke Smith, who made his announcement during the Under Armour All-America game in early January.
Well, today, Smith made things official on National Signing Day, sending in his signed Letter of Intent to Urban Meyer and staff in Columbus. The dual-threat on offense and defense can do it all. In his senior season, he not only notched 11 sacks and 70 total tackles, but also claimed eight catches for 192 yards and four touchdowns.
The Land➡️The Bus— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) February 7, 2018
Excited to keep this baller in-state! @T_23_baller is ready to be apart of the Rushmen!#GoBucks #Supreme18 #NSD18 pic.twitter.com/wgmgA2Va0v
Despite roster spots dwindling, Smith was one player for which Ohio State certainly would have kept a roster spot available for until NSD. Despite getting tight on scholarships, the Cleveland Heights recruit will keep a pipeline with the school that produced second-year Buckeye receiver Jaylen Harris, and could be another way to keep recruits from Ohio in-state.
With Larry Johnson’s Rushmen package taking a hit thanks to the NFL Draft, Smith will be a key factor in rebuilding the defensive front. Already a big 6’3, 260 pounds, the weakside defensive end ranked No. 4 among DEs in the 2018 class, and No. 60 overall, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Standing at 6’3, 260 lbs, Tyreek Smith possesses great athleticism for a guy his size, as he played both defensive end and tight end at Cleveland Heights. When watching him, it’s apparent pretty quickly that he has a lightning quick first step, as he’s extremely disruptive in the run game, slicing through and over-powering offensive linemen.
He makes countless plays behind the line of scrimmage, and with the help of Mickey Marotti, he should be able to dominate as a three-technique. He also needs to improve his pass rushing arsenal, which will come with experience and under the tutelage of the great Larry Johnson.
With the Buckeyes currently stacked on the interior defensive line, Smith will likely redshirt, but if they decide he’s more of a pure defensive end, he could see some time in a rotation.
Ohio State’s Class of 2018
|Antwuan Jackson Jr.||DT||6'2.25||305||Yes|