No matter how you slice it, longtime Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith was a critical assistant to head coach Urban Meyer.
Smith, the architect of Ohio State’s “Zone 6” wide receivers unit, was fired on Monday following allegations of domestic violence levied by Smith’s now-ex wife. The departure of Smith should be a critical loss for Ohio State, as he leaves with an abundance of big game experience, knowledge of the program’s evolving playbook and Meyer’s tendencies, and a leadership role in the program’s recruiting efforts.
All of those factors are the kind of things that often influence a recruit when weighing their decision. Not for one key Ohio State pledge.
As reported by Andrew Lind of Ohio State website 11 Warriors, 5-star Ohio State wide receiver commit Garrett Wilson insists he isn’t wavering from his prior decision to join the Buckeyes in 2019.
Wilson, a star for Austin-area Texas power Lake Travis, was apparently so sick of answering whether or not he would re-evaluate his recruitment, that he offered up this tweet:
Wilson elaborated (slightly) when reached for comment by Lind:
“Sad to hear it, but it has no impact on my recruitment,” Wilson told 11 Warriors.
Apparently any question of Wilson’s loyalty was sorted by outreach from Meyer himself, with the head coach telling the Texan ahead of time that Smith was going to be dismissed.
Whether Wilson is still joined by other power commits remains to be seen; unlike the Texan, top recruits Marcus Washington and Jameson Williams have yet to commit, and could be swayed away from Ohio State by perceived instability following Smith’s axing.
Or perhaps Washington and Williams will be all too happy to follow Wilson’s lead anyway, turning Zone 6 into 2019’s W Squad. That would be a heck of a coup for Ohio State in the best of times, even by Urban Meyer’s standards. Pulling it off without an established wide receivers coach? Magic.