Q&A: 2024 Five-Star Wide Receiver Coach Jeremiah Smith says he’s a “special” player with “unusual” talent

Ohio State has once again added a highly regarded wide receiver to its prospect recruiting class.

Florida Five-Star candidate Jeremiah Smith in 2024 gave Brian Hartline and Ohio State another massive recruiting win when he committed to the Buckeyes on Wednesday. The Buckeyes now have a #1 and #2 national team in 2024 as the talented Florida prospect will join five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola in Columbus.

To find out more about what makes Smith such a highly esteemed prospect, we reached out to his high school coach, Damon Jones. Chaminade Madonna capped off an undefeated 13-0 season this year with the state championship, the program’s second consecutive state title. Jones discussed Smith’s commitment to Ohio State, his best attributes as a player, one-handed grabs on social media from the state championship and more.

The interview has been slightly edited for length and clarity.

Q: How great was it to see Jeremiah commit to Ohio State Wednesday and wrap up his operation relatively early?

Damon Jones: Seeing Jeremiah go ahead and commit and end up with some high school kids, it’s a lot. I think he was ready to move on and finish it.

Q: What do you think was the biggest factor in why he ultimately decided to commit to Ohio?

Jones: I’ve been there a few times and have loved it. The coaching staff and the school have put out a good product.

Q: You hear some call Jeremiah the best wide receiver in high school, regardless of grade. I’ve seen him more closely than anyone else. What do you think makes it so special?

JonesWhat makes him special is that he is a humble kid. What I mean by that is some kids are going to be a donut, where the kid goes crazy and trains. But Jeremiah is constantly working and constantly trying to get better and better. You can’t say that about everyone, man. But he loves the ball, and he’s competitive. He wants to be the best.

Q: When do you think the first time you saw Jeremiah was that you knew he was going to be special one day?

JonesSeventh grader at wide receiver training camp. I knew then it was going to be special. The things he used to do as a seventh grader, you don’t see high school kids doing that. The hunting radius and the running route, the in and out, the bending of the hips are things that children of that age do not know.

Q: I want to talk about the last state title game that you won. Jeremiah’s one-handed catch has been making the rounds on social media because he was such a worthwhile catch. What was your reaction when you saw it for the first time?

Jones: Well, they do it every day in practice. every day. They have this exercise that they warm up with. That’s all they do to get started, is the one handed stuff. It’s a legitimate exercise where they focus with their eyes and the position of the ball.

Q: For you, I think when you see this kind of catch happen, it’s like another Tuesday in practice.

Jones: yes. Everyone was like, “Wow.” Personally, I see that every day.

Q: Well, you have to know to the average eye who hasn’t been around every day that it’s unprecedented for them to be able to do that every day ending in y, right?

JonesAbsolutely. He and Joshisa Trader, both can do it. It’s just weird.

Q: After he committed, Jeremiah said he was already working on getting Jochiza to Columbus with him. As far as you know, have they ever talked about playing at the collegiate level together?

Jones: I’m not sure. They probably talk about it all the time.

Q: It can be challenging because he does so many things well, but what is Jeremiah’s single best feature as a player?

Jones: its competitiveness. His desire not to lose. I think this is great for any child in any center.

Q: When you watch his movie, it really seems like he has no weakness. But if you had to identify one area that you think they could improve on the next level, what area do you think they could improve a little bit on?

Jones: Honestly, I don’t know. It’s… it’s different. I’ve been training for a long time. It’s special.

Q: Is he the best player you have ever coached?

JonesMan: You’re going to get me in trouble with some NFL players. But oh, it’s definitely in the top two.

Q: Jeremiah is close to both Ohio State commitments Brandon Ennis and Carnell Tate. How much influence do you think they had on his decision to come to Ohio State?

Jones: I’m sure they’ve had conversations about just being kids and all that. I’m sure they have some kind of effect.

Q: Brian Hartline has been known in recruitment circles for all of his success over the past few years. What is your experience with Hartline?

Jones: just being a young man attached to children. He is always frank with them. Also, you have to think about it. It’s a little different. He’s a guy who plays in the league, and now he’s coaching players for the league. This is what gamers want to play for.

Q: While I’m here, I just wanted to ask briefly about your two former players, Ryan Turner and Kenata Jackson Jr., who just completed their freshman seasons at Ohio State. What college careers do you both envision?

Jones: I think a year of minimalist anticipation is great for getting into college and adjusting to everything and the rules of the game. Plus you understand “this guy is in front of me,” so you wait your turn. I think they will end up thriving on this program.

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