Zach Smith: New Staff Recruiting Coordinator

“You’ve gotta have some youth in there, and that’s Zach, I’ve known Zach since he played for me at Bowling Green, and he’s taken over the recruiting coordinator spot for us, because of his social networking stuff that goes on. I’m an old guy that doesn’t understand it.” said Urban Meyer on Ohio State’s Media Day on Sunday (Aug. 16th)

Zach Smith, the WR coach, and the leader of Zone6 is the youngest member of the recruiting staff, and subsequently the member that can best connect with the culture of the young players and recruits. Take a quick look at his Twitter page and you will understand why he makes a great fit.

Since being hired in 2012, Zach Smith has been one of the best recruiters in the nation; with the ability to go all along the east coast and SEC country, more specifically in Southern Florida. He has been very important in the recruitment and signing of James Clark, Corey Smith, Terry McLaurin, Jalyn Holmes, Johnnie Dixon, Noah Brown, KJ Hill, and Torrance Gibson. These players were some of the highest, and most recruited players in the country. Along with the popularity of the Ohio State brand and Urban Meyer, Zach Smith has been able to go, build a relationship, and get these players committed. After a down year for Smith in 2013, and a challenge from Urban Meyer, Zach Smith was even named B1G recruiter of the year in 2014.

One of the most popular stories of Zach Smith’s recruiting was that of defensive end Jalyn Holmes. “One day I was with Jalyn Holmes, and he was recruiting Jalyn Holmes, and I’m in the house with him, and I see Jalyn Holmes walking around with an IPAD,” Urban Meyer recalled at Media Days. “and he was face-timing Zach’s kids. I say ‘What you doing?’ I look over and I see his kids in this video on you know, whatever that IPAD is, so I said ‘That’s a first.'”

Zach is one of the best at building relationships with recruits. When you hear about recruits face-timing Zach’s kids, you know Zach is doing something right. Urban definitely realizes that, and that’s the main reason he replaced TE coach Tim Hinton with Zach Smith. Hinton is a good coach, and a good recruiter, but being one of the older members of the staff, it was simply more difficult for him to understand the culture the the recruits are comfortable with. Obviously, Jalyn went on to sign with the Buckeyes in the class of 2014, and is now one of the candidates to replace Joey Bosa in the opener against Virginia Tech.

“Just relevant things that are culturally applicable to kids are important. And, whether being in touch with that or not, you don’t have to like what they like, but you should be knowledgeable of what they like. So, I like to keep in touch with that culture because it’s relevant, and it’s important.” said Zach at media days. For Zach, that partially goes back to the fact that in order to be successful, you have to adjust to what’s needed, but also, he likes it. “Some of it’s enjoyable to me, I mean, the last thing I would ever be is fake with a kid or recruit, but it’s probably why I can relate to the kids.” Zach also admitted

“A year ago there was a song by Meek Mill that was called ‘Levels to This’, and I used to say it to recruits all the time, and they would always be like ‘Man who is this dude?’. We would win a game, and I would be like ‘There’s levels to this, I’m trying to tell you.'” Again, that’s what sets Zach apart from other coaches. With his knowledge and plenty of use on social media, especially twitter, he is exposed to all this stuff that the recruits like. “He was easy to talk to because him being young, he knew certain slangs, he wasn’t trying to be cool,” Jalyn Holmes told Northeast Ohio Media Group about his recruitment. “When you know it’s real, it’s important. You can talk about things other than football with him, and that’s how you build a personal relationship with somebody. We were so close, I’d call him at 1 a.m. and have a conversation with him for two hours. He was that close. I felt that even if I didn’t come here, we would still talk.”


Like you read earlier, Zach preaches being real and authentic. That’s another reason why he is great for this new recruiting coordinator job. “I went down and watched Johnnie Dixon practice a couple times and told him, ‘That was awful,’” Zach Smith said after they had signed Johnnie. “We talked about it, but the kid at the end of the day went home and said ‘That guy’s going to make me better and he’s real.’” I’m not saying Tim Hinton and the other coaches aren’t genuine with recruits, because they definitely are, but Coach Zach Smith lives it out. He knows that he would rather be given the truth that have people treat them like an all-powerful being, so that’s how he treats the recruits. He knows being truthful is the best way to start and continue a relationship.

Obviously, this move requires a great deal of trust for Zach Smith. He has shown that he is able to step up to the challenge. After a poor year of recruiting, and some disappointment from Urban, Zach Smith went out and became B1G recruiter of the year. His WR core was extremely thin, and one of the weaker units of the team. He went and made them one of the deepest and most skilled units of the team. One way you can see this trust, is if you just look at his roster. When asked about if the H-Backs will meet with the RB room too, a source said that Coach Smith has been with Urban long enough, that anything that involves the player getting the ball, Zach can coach them up to where they need to be.


So, as the new recruiting coordinator, look for Zach Smith to be very successful. With his ability to stay up to date with things going on in social media, and being able to connect with recruits, the future recruiting classes could be better than ever. Look for him and the rest of the staff to be able to keep the 2016 recruiting class and beyond in the near future to stay near the top, if not #1, and watch for him to keep Zone6 as successful as ever.

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