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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Ohio State impresses Watch List guard

By Brad Bournival

As far as unofficial visits go, Ohio State hit a home run on Monday.

Those were the words of Olathe (Kan.) High School football coach Jeff Gourley about the ESPN Watch List offensive guard Braden Smith's visit with the Buckeyes.

Smith started his week of visits at Ohio State on Monday and will head to Michigan on Wednesday before closing things out with Notre Dame.

As far as the trip with the Buckeyes goes, it was strong.

“They said Urban Meyer was a really nice guy and the facilities were as expected, gorgeous,” said Gourley after talking to the family Tuesday afternoon. “It was really nice and an impressive place, kind of what you might expect at Ohio State.”

What caught Smith’s attention the most was the lineage the Buckeyes have and the attention to the past the university brings.

With four starters potentially gone from Ohio State’s current team after this season, playing time will be there, so it was important for the Buckeyes to impress upon Smith.

They certainly did that.

“They’re one of the top traditions in the country,” Gourley said. “They were not disappointed in what they saw in the whole deal. They said it was a really nice visit; so far the trip has been really smooth.”

Smith is just one of four guards offered by Ohio State in 2014 -- the others are Watch List juniors Sam Mustipher (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel), Demetrius Knox (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints Episcopal) and Phoenix sensation Natrell Curtis from Mountain Point High School. Smith is arguably the best. He proved that after a strong showing at the Under Armour combine in January.