Chaminade-Madonna’s 47-7 victory over Miami Archbishop Carroll in the Class 1M state semifinals on Friday may have been Jeremiah Smith’s last home game in South Florida.
Unless Mario Cristóbal has something to say about it.
The Hurricanes are still persistently recruiting the nation’s No. 1 prospect in the final weeks before the Early Signing Period, which begins Dec. 20, in hopes of getting him to flip his commitment from Ohio State to the local program, which already has commitments from two of his teammates, Joshisa Trader and Zaquan Patterson.
Miami is making a late push for Smith and his teammate, quarterback Cedrick Bailey, who received an offer from the Hurricanes on Nov. 19. He showed off his chemistry with Bailey and Trader on Friday night, catching a touchdown pass from Bailey and throwing a long pass to Trader on a trick play.
“That would definitely make (Miami) tempting,” Smith said. “That’s my high school quarterback; They are my boys. He’s been playing with them since he was 11 years old. So for us to play together in college, it would definitely be a great thing. Miami should have… offered (Bailey). They took too long. We also have to see how everything else goes.”
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The Hurricanes will likely get a home visit from the star wide receiver before he puts pen to paper.
“We just have to see how the home visit goes and everything else,” Smith said. “So we have to see.”
However, Ohio State won’t give up without a fight. They lost running back Mark Fletcher Jr. to the Hurricanes last year, and that paid immediate dividends for Miami. Buckeyes offensive coordinator Brian Hartline, known for his ability to coach wide receivers and send them to the NFL, attended Chaminade’s victory on Friday.
“It’s great,” Smith said. “He came to a couple of games last year, this is his second game this year. “I’m happy he came out and supported me.”
NC State quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper also attended the game to watch Bailey, a three-star quarterback who has been committed to the Wolfpack since March.
“It felt great,” Bailey said. “She turned me on a little more. “I wanted to have a big game for coach (Roper) and show NC State what I’m really like.”
A change of course may be in the air in South Florida these days. The Hurricanes pulled off a recruiting coup on Wednesday, trading five-star defensive tackle Justin Scott from the Buckeyes.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” Smith said. “He had some signs that he wasn’t very sure, but he had to do what was best for him and his family. So I don’t blame him. If you were in his place, you would do the same.”
The change upset some Ohio State fans, and some of his comments left a bad taste in Smith’s mouth.
“That irritates me,” Smith said. “You are grown men. You’re sitting on Twitter all day, chasing little kids who are just trying to chase their dreams and get to college and possibly go to the NFL. You’re on Twitter, just attacking kids. It doesn’t help anyone. It’s not helping you. That child goes to university. You sit on the couch all day. That guy really has something going for him.”
Before Bailey and Smith sign with their future schools, they have at least one more high school game left as they try to win the Lions’ third straight championship in their ninth straight state title game.
“It’s a whole family. “It’s too easy,” Bailey said. “We are the best in the country and no one can tell me otherwise.”
“I’m really excited for signing day,” Bailey added, “but right now I’m worried about the states.”