It's been a great run for Kerry Coombs and Ohio State this week, as Cincinnati (Ohio) La Salle three-star cornerback Devonta Smith committed to the Buckeyes on Monday.
The Smith File
- Class: 2021
- Size: 6-foot/185 lbs
- Pos: CB
- School: La Salle (Cincinnati, OH)
- Composite Rating: ★★★
- Composite Rank: 32 CB
Smith, the country's No. 32-ranked cornerback and No. 428-ranked overall player, does not come to Columbus with nearly as high of rankings, but at 6-foot, 185 pounds, Smith does bring plenty of physicality, and the 4.4-second runner in the 40-yard dash brings plenty of speed, too.
There's a good reason Alabama, Oregon, Notre Dame, Penn State and Oklahoma were all after the Cincinnati talent who could be in for a ratings bump over the next several months.
Smith is a defensive backfield teammate of four-star Ohio State safety/linebacker commit Jaylen Johnson, but the two were not on quite the same path in terms of their recruitment to the Buckeyes until recently.
Johnson camped with Ohio State in June, and at that camp he impressed the Buckeye staff, including his main recruiter, linebackers coach Al Washington, who offered Johnson after the camp. Smith, however, did not attend that camp and has never camped with the Buckeyes. Therefore, Smith had to earn his offer through his on-field production during his junior season, one in which he snagged six interceptions, recorded 72 tackles and scored six touchdowns as a receiver.
Still, though, Smith did not receive an Ohio State offer, and he began to feel disappointed.
“I kind of felt like they were not interested in me because I felt like I was getting played with,” Smith told Eleven Warriors. “They were telling me I was gonna get an offer, but it felt like it was taking too long. So I kind of branched off from them and just kind of put my mind somewhere else with a few other schools.”
But then, Coombs was hired in January, and the Cincinnati native began crafting an almost-immediate relationship with Smith, and the young corner's relationships with Ryan Day and Buckeyes assistant Tim Hinton, the executive director for football relations who handles relationships with high school players, coaches and other administrators, began to grow further.
|NAME||POSITION||OVERALL RANKING||POSITION RANKING||DATE OF COMMITTMENT|
|JACK SAWYER||DE||No. 2||No. 2||FEBRUARY 3, 2019|
|KYLE MCCORD||QB||No. 22||No. 3 (PRO-STYLE)||APRIL 30, 2019|
|JAYDEN BALLARD||WR||No. 71||No. 12||JUNE 21, 2019|
|BEN CHRISTMAN||OT||No. 106||No. 15||JUNE 26, 2019|
|REID CARRICO||LB||No. 73||No. 2 (ILB)||SEPTEMBER 10, 2019|
|MARVIN HARRISON JR.||WR||No. 57||No. 8||OCTOBER 31, 2019|
|SAM HART||TE||No. 387||No. 16||DECEMBER. 30, 2019|
|JAYLEN JOHNSON||S||No. 344||No. 17||JANUARY 7, 2020|
|DONOVAN JACKSON||OG||No. 36||No. 1||JANUARY 8, 2020|
|MIKE HALL||DT||No. 92||No. 8||FEBRUARY 1, 2020|
|JAKAILIN JOHNSON||CB||No. 59||No. 4||MARCH 15, 2020|
|DEVONTA SMITH||CB||No. 428||No. 32||MARCH 16, 2020|
Eventually, that led to what instantly became one of the watershed moments of Smith's life, when Coombs called him with a scholarship offer on March 12, and he was overcome with emotion when he was given the news during his lunch period at La Salle.
“We got off the phone, and I cried in front of my boys, man. It was crazy,” Smith said. “It was a great moment, man. It was really a blessing, just knowing the work I put in paid off. I’m just ultimately blessed. I give all glory to God and my mom for everything that she’s done. That’s just been that.”
It took Smith less than 48 hours to accept the offer. He talked about it with his mother, Stacy, his high school coaches, his stepfather and his sister, and they all came to a quick conclusion that Ohio State was the perfect fit for him.
He becomes the Buckeyes' 12th commitment in the 2021 class, as they continue locking down the state of Ohio with their seventh junior commitment in the state.