COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State wide receiver signee L’Christian “Blue” Smith considered leaving the state to play at Kentucky but ultimately chose the Buckeyes when he committed on Aug. 27.
The Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne standout was a 4-star prospect in the Class of 2018, listed as the No. 5 athlete and No. 126 overall prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings.
To learn what Smith can bring to Ohio State, Land of 10 caught up with Wayne coach Jay Minton.
Q: What traits of his stand out on the football field?
Minton: He’s extremely competitive. He’s a real competitive guy. I think that’s what has pushed him. He’s competitive from within. Sometimes he doesn’t outwardly show it, but he’s competitive from within himself. He always wants to do better, and he does it by competing. I think that’s what has made him really good.
He’s going to do really well when he gets to Ohio State, because everything is a competition there. I love it. I went to spring practice, and they compete every day. In every drill, they’re competing. Once he gets into that he’s going to be even better because he’ll be around people who can really challenge him every day.
Q: When did you realize he had the ability to be this caliber of player?
Minton: He was always good in junior high, and when he came over as a freshman we had a real good team. Early in the season, we played Moeller on ESPNU and he was catching passes and doing things that kids that age don’t do at that level. I just thought if he can compete against these guys like this, I know he can do it. He just needs to keep his head on straight and work hard, and he did that. That’s when I saw that. He’s been doing that since he came in as a freshman.
Q: What’s his ceiling at the college level?
Minton: I think it depends on what position he ends up playing. I know that’s been a big discussion. Right now, I think he’s going to be an outstanding receiver. How good he can get at that position will be determined on so many variables. He’s got to stay healthy and hit the weight room hard, things like that. I’m not worried about his competitive nature. He’s going to be one of their better receivers.
If he moves more toward the inside [to tight end], having a kid with that type of ability and size and the way he can control his body, I think he could also be really successful. It’s going to be interesting to watch his career and see how it develops. He’s at a great place to develop. It’s at wide receiver, I think he’ll be great there. If he moves inside, I think he’ll be great there. The ceiling is up to him. He can be as good as he wants to be.
Q: Is there a play or performance of his that stands out and shows what type of player he is?
Minton: He’s had plenty of those. He’s one of those guys that lights up when the lights come on. I don’t know that I can name one specifically because there’s been so many. He could probably pick one, but I don’t know if I could because I saw so many.
Q: How would you describe his personality?
Minton: He’s the type of young man who can get along with anybody — and I mean anybody. I’ve seen him be outstanding with young people, his peers and the elderly, really outstanding. Going to hospitals, going to grade schools, he is sensational. He loves kids, and my grandson thinks he walks on water. That’s an outstanding young man that can do that. I think that will help him along his way.