Indiana RB Roderick Smith surprised the staff Wednesday when he committed during an unofficial visit, becoming the 7th member of the 2010 class.
ESPN has this to say about Smith:
Smith may be one of the more impressive backs in this class in terms of a size to speed ratio. He's tall with great bulk but still lean enough through his waist and lower-body to remain fluid with some wiggle.
After piling up 3,580 rushing yards in his freshman and sophomore seasons, Smith was on pace to challenge the state record for career rushing yards (7,560), but was held to just 1,475 yards his junior year. Outside shot of still getting the mark, but he'll have his work cutout for him.
His negatives: supposedly goes down low a lot and does not posses child-bearing hips suitable for running back greatness.
Still, he's a pretty big win for the staff and at 6-2/220, the comparisons to Beanie are out there and valid, especially when you check out his film. He hits the hole quickly and shows nice acceleration on longer runs, while showing the shake needed to make a man miss up close. He might not have Beanie's love for mangling opponents' facemasks just yet, but that can be acquired.
(The stutter-step around 0:48 is sick.)
As exciting as the above clips are, advanced party commenters have correctly pointed out that he might not be facing elite competition in Fort Wayne. And while it's true that the state of Indiana isn't exactly regarded a a running back factory, I like what I see. A lot.
The Buckeyes won his services over other offers from the likes of Tennessee, Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa. In fact, the Spartans were his 2nd choice, further highlighting the excellent job Dantonio and his staff have done on that front lately.
There are rumors of potential academic hurdles to overcome, but Smith seems to think he'll be fine. Assuming he will be, Smith might have the good fortune of being the only running back in the 2010 class, though Erick Howard lurks. Boom is just a soph and probably not a candidate to leave early, while freshmen Berry and Hyde are new arrivals providing quality depth going forward.
Random trivia bit: Smith also plays basketball in the same conference as Buckeye 2010 hoops recruit Deshaun Thomas.