Massillon’s Smith starting to pick up more offers


Massillon’s Devin Smith is one of Ohio’s top reciever prospects for 2011. (Photo by Gary Housteau)

Michigan State enters the mix for coveted wide receiver. Toledo and Ball State throw their names in as well.

A top prep football recruit in Ohio as a wide receiver in the class
of 2011, Devin Smith of Massillon’s Washington High School just
recently returned to action on the hardwood for the Tigers after
recovering from an injury he initially sustained during football season.

just got back this week from a little injury. I had a stress fracture
in my foot,” Smith said. “I came back and got to play on Tuesday (Jan.
19) so basketball is going pretty good right now.”

Smith traced his foot injury back to the first round of the playoffs.

the playoffs, in the first round against Hoover I had turf toe,” Smith
said. “Once football was over and I got into basketball the doctor told
me I was running the wrong way and that’s what caused the stress
fracture to the foot.”

After playing in the first couple of basketball games, the injury needed to be remedied.

I was playing I didn’t really feel any pain,” Smith said. “We got into
maybe the fourth game of the season, and I felt there was a little pain
and there was a little bit of swelling. I went to the doctors the next
day and had it x-rayed and he said I had a stress fracture. I was out
for about three or four weeks.”

Smith obviously didn’t have much
trouble playing with the injury during the football playoffs as
Massillon advanced to the state semifinal round where they were
defeated by Cleveland Glenville, 31-17.

“When it happened
against Hoover and then from there on it was just my toe and it really
didn’t bother me after we taped it up,” Smith said. “So I did a little
rehab to it and it’s fine now. I feel great.”

And now he’s feeling pretty good about the recruiting process as well.

got (offers) Toledo and Ball State and today Michigan State came in and
offered me today,” said Smith on Thursday evening. “It feels real
great. I was shocked when I came in (to Massillon head coach Jason
Hall’s office), I didn’t know (MSU’s Pat Narduzzi) was in there. Coach
pulled me in there and introduced me and said they were going to offer
me and I was amazed and I was shocked completely.”

So Smith, a
first-team All-Ohio selection after recording 50 catches for 989 yards
and 15 touchdowns in his first season at Massillon after transferring
there from Akron Ellet, is officially a big-time wide receiver target
now. (He also had a punt return touchdown to lead the Tigers with 16

“I feel a lot better now but I’m not satisfied
though,” Smith said. “I’m just going to work hard so my senior year can
be a good one and hopefully I can get a little bit more attention.”

A couple of junior days could be next on the agenda for Smith.

came in Monday and gave me a brochure when they’re having a junior day
and I’m going to try to make it to that one,” Smith said. “Michigan
sent me something a while back and Indiana sent me one a while back
also. And Bowling Green came in on Monday and told me about their
junior day.”

Although he has not been invited to attend a junior day at Ohio State, Smith has been in contact with the Buckeye staff.

had gone to their bowl practices before they played Oregon in the Rose
Bowl and they said they loved the way that I play and they like things
that I do on the field,” Smith said. “And Jim Bollman came in last week
and he said that he wanted to get film on me and he said he was going
to take it back and evaluate me and I should hear from him pretty soon.”

It’s safe to say that Smith is having fun with the recruiting process and is looking forward to finding out where it takes him.

now I’m just trying to enjoy it,” he said. “I’m shocked at some of the
schools that came and had a word with me. Cincinnati came in, I like
Cincinnati a lot. Ohio State, I like them. Penn State came in today.
Michigan State, I like them and they offered me. I’d like to see some
teams like Florida and USC come in.”

Ohio State is definitely one of the schools that Smith is hoping to develop a better relationship with.

the school that I’ve always been around growing up,” said Smith who
attended the Navy, Minnesota and Wisconsin games in Ohio Stadium this
past year. “Going to a couple of their games this year I really enjoyed
it and I loved the spirit down there. It’s a great experience to see
that and I had to take my younger brother (Damion) down there with me
and he really enjoyed it. He’s in ninth grade and he plays football as
well. And I told him, ‘If you want to be here you’ve got to work hard.’
So he’s in there working hard himself.”

Smith, of course, watched the Buckeyes play Oregon in the Rose Bowl on television.

played tremendous. They played great all four quarters,” Smith said.
“Terrelle Pryor proved himself. He’s a good quarterback and I seen that
in him. But I thought that they did very well.”

Massillon also
did well against Glenville despite coming up empty. The score was tied
at 17 until the Tarblooders scored the go-ahead touchdown with just
under nine minutes left in the game. Jim Tressel was reportedly in
attendance for that game at InfoCision Stadium on the University of
Akron’s campus.

“That game really touched everyone. It touched
the sophomores that didn’t even play and it touched the juniors and the
seniors,” Smith said. “And it really got to Coach Hall, he really got
after it a month after the season was over. Even though we wanted to
get to that next level, winning the state championship – that was our
goal throughout the summer and two-a-days and all season, suffering
that loss was hard.”

But it was a great experience nonetheless for Smith.

was very excited and I loved every moment of it,” he said. “It didn’t
come out the way I planned but just being in that position, playing in
the state semis was a great feeling. And coming from where I came from,
I didn’t even know what it was like to be playing in the playoffs. And
then to come down here and we made a good run like that, it’s a journey
that I’ll never forget.”

Smith can’t help but dream big these days.

thing is that I want to get back to the state championship, that’s what
I want to do,” Smith said. “Sometimes it’s hard for me to watch
football games on TV because it makes me want to go out there and get
the pads on and play again. That’s probably the one more thing that I
really want is just a state championship final. Being in that position,
that definitely would be special for me.”

A 3.3 student at
Washington, Smith also plans to be a member of the track team for the
Tigers this spring where he’ll likely run in the 4×100 relay,
participate in both the high jump and long jump events and probably run
in the open 100 or 200.

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