Best Ohio State football players this century 19. Devin Smith – Wide Receiver 2011-14
Devin Smith is much different than a lot of the players on this list. He wasn’t a five-star recruit. He was only a three-star recruit at the wide receiver position. There were 57 other recruits at the position that were rated as better in high school. Smith wasn’t even the highest-rated wide receiver in the Ohio State 2011 recruiting class. Evan Spencer was the top guy in that class for them. While Spencer did some special things in Columbus, it was Smith who had the better career.
Smith started contributing as a freshman. Nothing crazy, but he did have just under 300 yards and four touchdowns in that first year on campus. His best moment his freshman year came when Braxton Miller hit Smith for a 40-yard touchdown with just seconds left to beat the Wisconsin Badgers. It looked like he was well on his way to a special career.
He became a starter in his sophomore season, and he was a big-play machine. He averaged 20.6 yards per reception. That would sound ridiculous, but just wait until you hear about his senior season.
It’s almost like Ohio State purposely only used Smith to be this huge playmaker. Despite knowing what kind of weapon he was, they only got the ball in his hands 33 times. Despite that, he had 931 yards. For those looking for the math, Smith averaged 28.6 yards per reception. He had 12 touchdowns that season, meaning more than a third of his catches went for a score, and a lot of them were for big scores. He wasn’t just a red-zone threat, he was a threat from every point on the field.