Jeremiah Smith: Nation’s No. 1 WR reflects on Georgia football visit, Ohio State commitment and Dylan Raiola
Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep has the latest with 5-star WR Jeremiah Smith. The Ohio State commitment ranks as the nation’s No. 1 WR and the No. 2 overall prospect for 2024 on the 247Sports Composite ratings and the On3 Industry Ranking.
EMERSON - Jeremiah Smith completely took over the Pylon Atlanta 7-on-7 football tournament at the Lake Point Sports Complex. He completely looked the part of the nation’s top receiver and No. 2 overall prospect for 2024 when he was draped with coverage.
Smith and his South Florida Xpress team wrapped up pool play and the tournament’s top seed early on Saturday. They started about two hours earlier than originally scheduled and that allowed them a chance to drive from the Cartersville area to Athens.
Smith took in Athens with fellow 5-star teammate Joshisa Trader.
Trader, the nation’s No. 4 receiver and No. 14 overall prospect, teams up with Smith on the high school level and on the 7-on-7 circuit. Trader, who was not able to play on Sunday, also met with Georgia receivers coach Bryan McClendon on Saturday.
What comes to his mind when he thinks of Georgia?
“A national program,” he said. “They won two national championships. You have seen what they did at my receiver position. They have great success. I mean coach BMac (McClendon) has done a great job with the receiver class.”
What is the main recruiting message he’s getting from the ‘Dawgs?
“Really just come in and be a Day 1 starter,” Smith said. “If I come in and work. That’s one thing that Coach BMac was preaching to me yesterday when were on the visit. He just told me that if I come in and work, then I could be a Day 1 starter if I do what I have to do.”
He said it was “a great visit overall” to Athens on Saturday. The one thing he didn’t get to do was get to meet coach Kirby Smart. Smart was away from campus on vacation.
“That’s one thing I want to do,” Smith said. “I want to meet coach Kirby.”
He called McClendon a “great coach” and a “cool guy.”
“A player’s coach,” he said. “You can talk to him about anything. Just a great overall coach.”
What does he like best about the ‘Dawgs right now?
“It is a cool program really,” Smith said. “Won two national championships. How can you not like Georgia? They have a great defense. Spread offense. They can run the ball and pass the ball. Balance.”
McClendon was able to show Smith and Trader clips on the offense on Saturday. He wanted them to see that they are not just a running offense.
“It is explosive,” Smith said when asked specifically what he likes about the UGA offense. “They go fast. They have a hurry-up offense. You see what they are doing with the receiver position, really just I love it what I am seeing. We just have to see this year how everything goes and how they recruit me from here on out.”
He said that Georgia has used the comparison to all-time Bulldog legend A.J. Green at the receiver position.
The ability to come in and be a “Day 1 starter” at Georgia seemed to be the most impressionable moment of that Saturday night visit for him.
“When I was in a meeting with Coach BMac, really just telling me I could come in and be a Day 1 starter,” Smith said. “He was telling me ‘You haven’t sat the bench before so why would you go somewhere and sit the bench when you haven’t sat the bench your whole life’ and just telling me ‘you’ve got everything you need. Just come in and work and you can be three-and out’ and really that’s all he was telling me.”
The visit was mostly just talking about football. There was no photo shoot. They also toured the football facility and went to check out Sanford Stadium.
He had been to Sanford Stadium before as a freshman. His team competed in a 7-on-7 tournament there. That was the last time he had been to Athens.
“The stadium is nice,” Smith said. “It is big. The locker room is nice. Everything is nice. They’ve got a lot of new facilities that they have just built.”
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Jeremiah Smith: What is the status of his Ohio State commitment?
There have been a number of reports about Smith of late. He also competed last weekend at the Under Armour Next Camp in Orlando. The headlines coming out of that visit were that he was thinking about taking multiple official and unofficial visits.
Schools like FSU and UGA were mentioned as being heavily on his radar. Miami is also a name that comes up as a potential contender for Smith.
When asked to set the record straight about what’s going on with his commitment, he said something that will sound appealing to Ohio State fans.
“I’m locked in right now,” Smith said. “I just want to take visits, too. Because I don’t know what can happen. Coaches might go to the NFL. You see that a lot. I just want to keep my relationships open really. That’s all.”
Smith said that right now FSU, Georgia and Miami seem to be recruiting him the hardest right now. He said that UGA and its staff are talking to him every day or every other day.
He was also asked what keeps him committed to Ohio State.
“Really just the coaches,” Smith said. “[Receivers] coach Brian Hartline. Coach Ryan Day. [Tight ends] coach Keenan Bailey. Right now, that’s who is recruiting me the hardest there. The receiver production they have had the last couple of years with Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, JSN [Jaxon Smith-Njigba] he will probably go first round, too and Marvin Harrison Jr. the year after that and then Emeka Egbuka to me. It is going to keep going and going for sure.”
The 5-star wide receiver says that he doesn’t have any visits scheduled yet. At least not any specific dates. It does seem like he has a general idea of schools he would like to visit, but just not the exact dates nailed down.
There are a lot of schools that want him to come visit, he said.
“Georgia they want me to come up in June sometime,” Smith said. “There is a possibility of it happening.”
What is he looking for here?
“Really just if Ohio State they keep recruiting me,” Smith said. “They are still going to do that. They aren’t going to let me go probably. They aren’t going to stop recruiting me. Really just other schools keep pursuing me to change my mind but really I’m locked in. Ohio State is home right now.”
Smith did wear a pair of Ohio State gloves on Sunday during his show stopping performance at Pylon.
He said he was still recruiting a lot of the nation’s top players to join him in Columbus. But he also admitted he is looking around.
How hard is it for him to balance trying to build a class but also making sure he keeps his other options open?
“It is kind of crazy with everything I have got going on with track and 7-on-7 and school,” he said. “I make time for to help recruit the 2024 class for Ohio State and to take other visits and stuff like that. It is complicated.”
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What will Dylan Raiola’s eventual decision mean for Jeremiah Smith?
Dylan Raiola is the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect. The 5-star QB was once committed to Ohio State and spent some time reeling in Smith to commit to the Buckeyes.
It was a twist of irony to see Smith commit to the Buckeyes last December and then Raiola decommit three days later. That hasn’t done anything to dilulte the relationship there between those two.
Both know full well what each can do.
What happens if Raiola commits to the ‘Dawgs?
“It could do a lot really,” Smith said on Sunday. “He’s the number one quarterback in the nation. Last year he was committed with me to Ohio State. He was recruiting me hard to Ohio State. He ended up decommitting after I got committed. Yeah, I mean Dylan Raiola is a great quarterback if he committed there it would be a great chance [he would consider Georgia] probably.”
That was a question that 2024 Georgia commitment Peyton Woodyard also had for him on Sunday. He wanted to know how the UGA visit went, but Smith said Woodyard also asked him that very same thing.
“He asked how would I feel if Dylan Raiola committed,” Smith said. “I told him it would be scary me and him. If Dylan Raiola committed, I know they are going to recruit me harder if he committed.”
Smith admitted that Georgia is trying to set up a tandem visit with Raiola and Smith. The Bulldogs want them both to visit together and consider the possibilities of the both of them in red and black.
The first weekend in June would be the target date that. That’s the first weekend of June official visits for the ‘Dawgs. As stated often in this space, that’s becoming the A1A destination for Georgia to try and host the best of the best nationally at the same time.
The nation’s No. 1 QB and No. 1 WR prospects in town at the same time would certainly fit that criteria.
“They are trying to set that up,” Smith said. “He and I coming in at the same time in June. I think they said June 2-4 or something like that. So yeah, there’s a possibility of that.”
Would that be an official visit?
“Yeah, I think so,” Smith said on Sunday.
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