The Michigan State Spartans got a bit of a pleasant surprise heading into signing week. Late on Saturday night, five-star kicker/punter Garrison Smith of Norwalk, Ohio committed to the Spartans as a preferred walk-on.
Smith will be joining Michigan State in the 2021 class, and will perhaps have the opportunity to earn a scholarship in the future after returning senior Matt Coghlin departs following next season.
It is unclear at this point whether Smith will play punter or kicker for the Spartans. However, when it comes to the Big Ten, punting is winning. Field position matters in this league, and so it is great to see Smith commit today. He ranks as the No. 13 punter and No. 21 kicker based on the Kohl’s Kicking Camps rating system, both of which place him as a five-star recruit in the 2021 class. Kornblue Kicking also has him as a five-star recruit, but ranks him as the No. 7 kicker in the country.
Smith chose Michigan State over Cincinnati, who had also shown interest in him as a preferred walk-on, but neither school offered a scholarship. Fordham, Old Dominion, South Dakota and Tiffin University did offer scholarships to Smith, according to Kohl’s Kicking. The senior out of Ohio is listed as 5-foot-7 and 150 pounds. No word yet on how his windmill or mudslide celebrations rank compared to his predecessors, or if he intends to compete for best fake cat pets at the punting position instead. We will be sure to keep an eye on him as signing day approaches this next Wednesday.
Update, April 1: Smith will no longer join the Michigan State football program, and will instead join Ohio State.