Ohio State's entire football program received a boost National Signing Day with a slew of recruits officially becoming Buckeyes, but one position group in particular added back a piece that was missing at the end of last season.
Senior wide receiver Corey Smith is set to return for the 2016 season at Ohio State, after the NCAA granted him a sixth year of eligibility from a broken leg he suffered in his team's 34-27 victory at Indiana Oct. 3. Head coach Urban Meyer announced the news on his radio show with Paul Keels and Jim Lachey on 97.1 The Fan Wednesday afternoon.
Smith, a junior college transfer originally from Akron, blossomed into a valiant special teams contributor the past two seasons before the injury ended his season. He also has 25 career catches for 317 yards at Ohio State.
Smith's return further bolsters an Ohio State wide receiving corps that was decimated by injuries in 2015. Sophomore Noah Brown suffered a similar injury in fall camp and never played a down. Michael Thomas, Jalin Marshall, Braxton Miller, Ezekiel Elliott and Nick Vannett are all on to the NFL, leaving the Buckeyes without five of their top six receivers from 2015. Curtis Samuel is the leading pass catcher back, with 22 grabs for 289 yards and a pair of scores. Samuel, however, underwent foot surgery recently and could miss spring practice.
Urban Meyer said Jan. 7 that Ohio State was moving as if Smith was going to receiving a sixth season of eligibility. Wednesday, we received our answer.
Smith appears to be ready for the next step.
The journey begins!— Corey Smith Jr (@dreamchaser_cj5) January 28, 2016