Sunday is decision day for Blue Smith, and Kentucky and Ohio State fans will be on edge to see where the 4-star wide receiver ends up.
To be fair, Cincinnati is in Smith’s final three, but the decision is expected to come down to the Wildcats and Buckeyes. The Dayton, Ohio, native is the 115th-ranked prospect in the 2018 class and the No. 4 Ohio prospect, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Smith would become Kentucky’s highest-ranked commit in the class, and a commitment from the 6-foot-6, 210-pound wideout would vault the Cats into a top-15 class nationally.
But it’s all guesswork from here. At least, that’s how Bill Greene sees it. Greene is an Ohio recruiting expert for Scout.com, and SEC Country caught up with him on Monday to assess Kentucky’s chances of putting Blue in blue.
Greene is one of many who logged a Smith-to-Ohio State prediction in the 247Sports Crystal Ball. The Crystal Ball gives Ohio State an 81 percent chance of landing Smith with Kentucky at 19 percent.
“I don’t think he’s told anybody his decision,” said Greene, who talked to Smith last week. “I think it’s more guesswork going on than anything — I know it is on my part.”
Greene’s reasoning for picking Ohio State came down to positions. While Kentucky has long recruited Smith as a wide receiver, Ohio State was considering him at tight end — a position Smith doesn’t want to play. But coach Urban Meyer and Co. have since made it clear that Smith could play receiver if he stays at his current weight.
“Urban Meyer had him down and basically told him, ‘Look, if you stay in the 200, 205 range that you’re at now, even if you get to 210-215 and you keep your speed up, you’re a wide receiver,'” Greene said. “‘Now, you get in the 225 to 235 range, and we will move you to tight end.’ When they clarified that, I think that resonated with the kid. We’ll see. I do think he’s gonna pick Ohio State. If he picks Kentucky, it will not shock me in the least. I think he’s torn. I think he likes both programs a lot. I just feel Ohio State’s got an edge because of the Meyer explanation.”
Smith’s familiarity with Kentucky’s players and coaching staff — especially recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow — are what’s working in the Wildcats’ favor, Greene said. Plus, Kentucky linebacker commit Alex Reigelsperger is teammates with Smith at Wayne High School.
“I think they offer a lot that he’s looking for,” Greene said of Kentucky. “It will not surprise me if he picks Kentucky because of the relationship with the coaches. He knows a lot of guys on that team, and he can see where he fits in that offense. He could play early at Kentucky and catch a lot of balls. There’s something to be said for that.”
As for the wide receiver/tight end debate, Greene said he’s always seen Smith as a receiver.
“I don’t think he’s physical enough to play tight end, and he has no interest in playing tight end,” Greene said. “That kind of defeats the purpose of playing tight end. He doesn’t want to do it.”
Greene said Smith fits the mold of Dallas Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant. Smith is four inches taller than Bryant, but Greene said both are physical red-zone and first-down targets.
Smith doesn’t have the speed of some wide receivers, but his frame likely would make up for that.
“He’s not a 4.4 kid, and that’s fine,” Greene said. “Some of the best receivers in the NFL didn’t run 4.4. I think Blue is a big, physical guy. He’s a basketball player. He can jump over people. He knows about positioning his body. He may not be able to run by a lot of these DBs, but in a 1-on-1 matchup, he’s gonna physically overpower them.”