ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Dwaine Smith lives in Columbus, Ohio, not too far from a very famous horseshoe, smack dab in the middle of scarlet and gray Buckeye country.
But he has one plea for his son, Deveon Smith, a 2013 running back who’s starting to pick up interest from colleges across the country.
Please don’t go to Ohio State.
"It's all in fun. He's behind me no matter what school I go to," Deveon said. "He would like me to go to Michigan over Ohio State, though."
Dwaine has always been a big Michigan fan. And the Wolverines were the first school to offer to Deveon.
But not long after, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes offered the Ohio native. Smith also has four other offers: Indiana, Bowling Green, Penn State and West Virginia.
Deveon said both Michigan and Ohio State are recruiting him the same amount, which he expected.
"Ohio State doesn't really say Michigan's name, they say, 'Don't talk to that school up north,' " Deveon said. "I do sense the rivalry a little bit. They don't talk bad about each other, they're trying to sell their program more."
Smith is making a visit to Ann Arbor this weekend, and he's hoping to get a feel for the school and campus. However, he said he'd also like to have a chance to visit schools in the spring and watch spring practice.
He said one main factor in his recruiting is seeing in person how offenses use running backs in their systems. The Wolverines have made it clear they intend to move back into a power run game over the next few seasons, which could feature a played such as Smith.
And while the Buckeyes appear to be favoring the spread, he said that doesn't bother him too much because he's an agile player on the field and could see himself fitting into something like that as well.
Right now Smith is just focused on finding the right fit for him. He said it doesn’t matter too much which big back was recruited in front of him (like 2012 Bri’onte Dunn at Ohio State) or which back is being recruited with him (like 2013 Wyatt Shallman at Michigan).
"I think I want to wait it out, really," Smith said. "I don't know if it will come down to Michigan and Ohio State. I like Penn State and West Virginia, too. All teams are equal right now. There's no team ahead of one the other."