Freshmen don’t usually catch the eye of Ohio State scouts before ever running a play in high school football. Then again, most ninth graders aren’t 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds like defensive end Rahshaun Smith (Townson, Md./Calvert Hall College).
The standup defensive end had offers from Boston College, Maryland and Youngstown State before he came to Calvert Hall. Now, he’s got schools like Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, UCLA and Wisconsin already turning their head as Smith watches his legend grow.
“I’m a young boy,” the 15-year-old said. “I’m just getting to high school. But to have Ohio State looking at me as a freshman feels really good.
“I was down there a couple times this summer. I liked the campus and I liked the coaches a lot. It was a real fun experience. I really like Ohio State.”
The Buckeyes surely must have liked the way Smith started out his high school career when he recorded 2½ sacks, forced a fumble and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown in a 54-7 win over Baltimore Christian.
While it’s way too early to start talking about where he’d lean in the college recruiting world, he has been watching the Buckeyes.
“I like the way they run their defense,” Smith said. “I feel like I could play there one day and maybe even start as a freshman.”
Smith isn’t the only Calvert Hall youngster getting looks from Ohio State as sophomore cornerback Juantez McRae is turning heads as well.
He already has offers from Connecticut, Toledo and Youngstown State and is getting looks from Maryland as well as the Buckeyes.
“They’ve all said, I’m young now, but if I keep coming to the camps, I’ll start showing more,” McRae said. “It means a lot to have these schools looking at me.”
Like his teammate, the 5-11, 170-pound sophomore likes what he sees in the Buckeyes after going to a camp in Columbus over the summer.
“They love my size,” McRae said. “I always have said I could see myself being there at Ohio State. I love the atmosphere. I’d be a big ballplayer at Ohio State. Their interest is a very big thing.”