Will Smith Jr., son of late Saints star OSU, donated by Buckeyes

Will Smith played defensive end for Ohio State from 2000 to 2003, winning a national championship and earning All-American honors on the program, before embarking on a decade-long career in the NFL. Now Will Smith Jr., son of the former Buckeyes and Saints star, will have the same college opportunity, if he chooses.

At the end of the NCAA recruiting dead period on Friday, the Buckeyes offered Smith Jr., a defensive end in the Class of 2023. He currently plays at Dublin Coffman High School in Ohio.

Smith is still relatively early in his recruiting, but holds reported offers from Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Northwestern and West Virginia, among others. The Buckeyes’ offer is his biggest to date and even more significant given his father’s time with the program.

He made unofficial visits to Columbus for games against Maryland and Purdue during Season 21.

His father was selected with the 18th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft by New Orleans, with whom he would carve out an impressive professional career. He made the Pro Bowl in 2006 and was on the championship team for Super Bowl XLIV. His career ended in 2014, after he was released by the Saints and Patriots, with whom he spent part of the preseason.

In 2016, Smith was fatally shot in New Orleans in a dispute stemming from a car accident.

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