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Ohio State Buckeyes in the Hunt for No. 1 Safety Prospect

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 24:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes shouts instructions to his team during the first half of a game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Michigan 26-21.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Austin KempAnalyst ISeptember 2, 2016

John “JuJu” Smith of Long Beach Poly High School in California has seen his recruitment take off over the last few months.

Smith is a 5-star safety, and considered the No. 1 safety prospect in America according to Scout.com.  With offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, USC and UCLA, there’s another school that seems to have caught the attention of the 6’1" athlete: the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes offered Smith on March 5, and since then, the pursuit hasn’t stopped.  Traditionally, coach Urban Meyer loves big, athletic defensive backs, and JuJu fits the bill perfectly.  He has the ability to close on ball-carriers and make tackles at the line of scrimmage.  Don’t count out Smith as a receiver, either.  Over the course of his junior season, Smith caught 49 passes for 752 yards and was named CalHiSports’ first team All-State as a multi-purpose player.

However, there’s a reason that coaches love him on defense and it’s because he can do just about everything that’s asked.  JuJu accounted for six interceptions, as well as 51 total tackles.  

Though Ohio State is making a push to land potentially the best athlete in this year’s recruiting class, it’ll be stiff competition with the Trojans and Bruins breathing down their neck.  After all, both of those schools are within easy driving distance for JuJu, and with the Bruins on the rise and USC being the program that it is, it’ll definitely be an uphill battle for Coach Meyer all the way to the end.

With no announcement date in sight, the Buckeyes main focus has to be getting JuJu on campus.  Urban Meyer and Ohio State’s staff have been deadly when they are able to get a prospect on campus and it shouldn’t be any different with JuJu.  Get him inside the Horseshoe with a No. 9 jersey on, let him take in the sight he’ll see, and it could be gold for the Buckeyes.

If there’s one coach in the country that no one wants to face on the recruiting trail, it’s Urban Meyer. 

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