April 26, 2009

No doubt in who leads for Smith

Running back Roderick Smith out of Fort Wayne (Ind.) popped onto most people's radar out of the blue but now the 6-foot-3, 220-pound runner is almost a regional celebrity and the 2010 blue-chipper was treated like a star by the 95-thousand-plus crowd at Ohio Stadium on Saturday for the annual spring game.

The spring game was the backdrop for a big recruiting weekend that netted the Buckeyes one commit (Scott McVey out of Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius HS) and made huge impressions on several big name players, Smith included.

"It was great and I had a good time," Smith said. "I really liked the crowd and I enjoyed talking to the coaches again so it was all pretty good."

Before the actual game the recruits had a chance to stand on the sidelines and watch the team go through warm-ups and during that time fans along the south end of the stadium took little time to recognize some of the potential Buckeyes taking in the sights.

"It was cool with so many people knowing who I was and I never have experienced anything like that," Smith said.

While Smith was waiting to head over to his seat he caught the eye of former Ohio State (and new Arizona Cardinal) running back Chris Wells. Several fans lined up to try and get a potential passing of the torch photo op.

Was Smith able to catch up with either Ohio State's incoming running backs in Carlos Hyde or Jamaal Berry?

"I really didn't get too much of a chance to talk with them," Smith said. "I really just was able to meet them and that was pretty much it."

The state of Indiana will always be known as a basketball stronghold and Saturday's scene cemented home even more of the difference between Ohio and Indiana when it comes to rabid football fans.

"It's crazy and we don't have anything like that in Indiana," Smith said. "If that's just the spring game I can only imagine how the games will be."

Smith picked up an offer from Michigan State in the past week and still has interest in Iowa, Georgia and Oklahoma. But there is no doubt who leads for the talented running back.

"They have always have been very high but after Saturday they are even higher (on my list)," Smith said.

So with Ohio State holding a dominant lead when might Smith go from being a target to being a commitment?

"I am going to commit when I feel like I am ready," Smith said. "Right now I think that I won't commit (anywhere) until late July or maybe the middle of my football season."


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