Corey Smith was a junior college recruit from East Mississippi Community College that Urban Meyer brought in to compete for a starting spot right away.
Programs like Ohio State don’t bring in junior college athletes to sit the bench. They bring them in because JC kids are proven, mature players who coaches think can instantly help at a position of need. Corey Smith will be that guy for the Buckeyes in 2013.
Last season, Ohio State’s receiving corps had flaws in just about every category. There wasn’t a game-breaker who could take a slant 70 yards for a touchdown. The position certainly lacked reliability, with all having had trouble catching the ball at some point in the season. Sure, maybe Corey Brown was playing a bit out of position and maybe Devin Smith was just young, but this is a group that needs to get better and Corey Smith can definitely patch some holes.
Corey Smith has good size and 6’1", 190 pounds. He possesses the ability to stretch defenses with his speed, but will be mostly appreciated because of his hands. The Ohio native will be someone the Buckeyes will look to on third down when the chains need to be moved. In junior college ball, Corey showed that he can be reliable in those situations and that consistency will make Braxton Miller an overall better passer as well. When receivers are able to haul in routine plays over and over, the quarterback will gain confidence and put the ball in the air more often.
Looking at the receiving position as a whole, you would figure it would have to be improved with a season under the players' belts. In 2013, look for Corey Smith to be on the outside, opposite of Devin Smith. Though Devin needs to improve his concentration and become more consistent, he should benefit greatly, as some of the pressure will be taken off of him and he can become the deep threat he’s capable of being.
The presence of Corey Smith should also move Corey Brown into the slot position, which could be a more natural position for “Philly”. Philly Brown, at the moment, is the Buckeyes' most elusive receiver.
Guys like Chris Fields, Michael Thomas and Evan Spencer will have their opportunities, but there’s a reason the Buckeye coaching staff pursued Corey Smith so hard. Look for Corey to click with Miller right away, as he should be targeted early and often. With two years of eligibility left, Corey chose Ohio State to be the school that prepares him for the NFL. The journey has been long for him, but Corey is finally at the highest level of college football and could be a household name by season's end.