If there’s one thing that Urban Meyer wanted to put emphasis on when it came to the 2013 recruiting class, it was to upgrade the wide receivers.
Well, it was mission accomplished as Ohio State landed three: Jalin Marshall, James Clark, and Corey Smith.
Each have a unique ability that separate themselves, but all have traits that Coach Meyer looks for from his play-makers.
Some say Marshall is the prized recruit of this Buckeye class. He’s an Ohio kid who committed in January of 2012. Playing quarterback in Middletown High School’s option based attack, Marshall dazzled with his big plays each week and was unquestionably the best prospect in the state of Ohio.
There will be a learning curve, though, as Jalin will have to develop as a pure receiver. Question marks surrounded him when his first test at receiver came at the Under Armour All-America game.
Reports were that he struggled adjusting in the early goings, but rebounded just fine to put on a good performance.
Jalin Marshall dropped a few balls Monday but has been lights out ever since. You can see him gaining confidence daily. Gonna be special— Bill Greene (@BillBankGreene) January 4, 2013
Jalin Marshall will no doubt make his mark felt in 2013. Whether it’s on special teams, being used in special packages, or becoming an actual starter, the staff at Ohio State will find ways to utilize him.
James Clark was one of the more interesting and intriguing prospects the Buckeyes went after late in the recruiting process.
Clark connected with Ohio State in January and the recruitment went all the way until national signing day. Though Clark took multiple visits to the University of Florida, Coach Meyer and his staff were able to grab the speedster from Florida.
The biggest asset of Clark’s game is the speed he possesses. He is a home run threat every time he touches the ball, and could be one of the fastest Buckeyes on the team when he steps foot on campus this fall.
Like Marshall, Clark will have to spend some time this offseason becoming a complete receiver. The use of his hands will be the key to seeing early playing time.
The road Corey Smith has taken to Ohio State was long and unforgettable.
A kid who grew up playing high school football in Ohio, Corey went the junior college route and started off at Grand Rapids Community College—where he played one season before the football program was terminated.
Smith didn’t give up his dream of playing college football.
He then transferred to East Mississippi Community College, and right off the bat became one of the best junior college receiving prospects in the nation.
Corey goes 6’1", and while his speed and elusiveness isn’t to be underestimated, his hands and ball skills are what will get him on the field early for the Buckeyes.
College programs don’t recruit junior college kids to come in and sit the bench for a year. Coach Meyer has plans for Smith right away, and he could find himself in the starting lineup come football season.
It looks like Corey Smith will be called upon to play on the outside, opposite of Devin Smith. A move like that would allow Corey Brown to bump into the slot, which is a more natural position him.
Though Smith wasn’t the highly touted prospect that every college raved over, he could be the most important for Ohio State’s success in 2013. Urban Meyer was able to grab a mature, proven pass catcher at the collegiate level.