Four-star 2024 Defensive End Nigel Smith "Really Enjoyed" His Ohio State Official Visit and Said It "Set The Bar High" for Other Upcoming Trips

By Garrick Hodge on June 4, 2023 at 6:50 pm
Nigel Smith

On its first weekend of hosting prospects on official visits, Ohio State made a major impression on one of its top remaining defensive end targets.

Four-star Texas prospect Nigel Smith told Eleven Warriors Sunday that his trip to Columbus was everything that he could have hoped for. 

“I really enjoyed it. It was something that I was looking forward to, it’s been a long time since I’ve been up there," he said. "Getting to chill with Larry Johnson and really getting to hang with all the players and everybody was great. My favorite part of the official visit was meeting these recruits and hanging out with them. I enjoyed chopping it up with them and going out and doing the things that we did.” 

The Texas native had been to OSU four times prior to arriving on Friday, so he was already familiar with Ryan Day and defensive line coach Larry Johnson. Yet, Smith said his conversations with the two this weekend were far more detail-oriented than his talks with them in the past.

“They got a lot deeper into how things are looking for the depth chart and things like that,” Smith said. “It just seems like a lot of these schools that I’ve been to, the 2024 class is key for defensive line recruiting because everybody is graduating or going to the league. Coach LJ made this whole presentation about a three-and-a-half-year plan for me because he thinks I’ll be one of those dudes. We talked about how he recruits four defensive linemen in units and goes out and finds the top four to five defensive linemen in the nation. That’s me and a couple other of those kids. Those kids that are juniors at Ohio State now, they’re going to be gone. So if I went to Ohio State I’d be coming in as a second-string player.” 

Johnson said OSU continues to see him as a defensive end and broke down his tape by comparing him to a former legendary Buckeye.

“Kind of like how Chase Young played," Smith said. "He did a whole deal on how me in comparison to Chase Young. It seemed like we’re a lot alike.” 

Smith said his player host was defensive end Kenyatta Jackson Jr., and he enjoyed spending time with the current OSU defensive end. 

“He’s a cool dude,” Smith said. “He’s not extra, he’s nice and chill and what I wanted. We had a good time.” 

OSU was Smith’s first official visit of the summer, and the 6-foot-5, 260-pound product said Ohio State set the tone for his other scheduled trips. Smith will visit Penn State next weekend, Oklahoma on June 16 and Texas A&M on June 23.

“It was my first official visit and it was great, it really set that bar high for everything and all my visits coming up,” Smith said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing if these schools can top it.”

Smith said he plans to announce his commitment on Sept. 8 before his third game of his senior season, and his visits this summer will go a long way in determining where the Texas product calls home next year. 

“It’s not any big factors to be honest with you, I’ve narrowed these schools down to be my top schools, so that’s why I’m taking official visits," Smith said. "I think every one of them check off the boxes for what I’m looking for in regards to being a family atmosphere, development, life after ball programs and internships and all that. I’m looking for more of a feel. How I feel on campus, around the players, around the coaches. Can I see myself being there for the next three years and enjoying it the most?”

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