July 24, 2013
UNC leads for Fla. 2015 LB Smith
There is no doubt that the North Carolina coaches are making their round trips along the East coast, searching for players as far as Pennsylvania to Florida.
Trinity high school in Florida has been a recent school where North Carolina has looked at recruits, already offering defensive tackle Kendrick Norton and also getting in touch with linebacker Andre Smith.
Defensive coordinator Dan Disch is all too familiar with the Florida area, having Jacksonville be his hometown and also coaching down in the area. That is who has been in contact with Smith the most and it seems like Smith reminds him of a former player Disch once had when coaching at Ed White High school.
"Dan Disch is from Jacksonville and graduated from my high school. When he coached high school football, he had a linebacker by the name of Byron "Bam" Hardmon that I reminded him of me and that I reminded him of "Bam" because I play with a little pop and have a little spice as a player," Smith said.
"They have been trying to sell me on how to decide on a program, how they have a lot of players in the NFL, the campus and how it is beautiful, and the education that I can get there."
North Carolina was the first team to offer Smith back in January, but he also is holding offers from Florida A&M, Massachusetts, and Samford but is also holding interest from teams such as Florida, Florida State, and Penn State.
Smith hasn't been able to make it up to North Carolina yet, but has plans to come up during the season and make a visit. He has been in talks with Norton on making a visit up to UNC in the next couple of months.
"Yes I plan on attending some games during the season with some of my teammates," Smith replied.
"They are really just trying to get me up to camp. I have been trying to go up to Florida and North Carolina, but it hasn't happened yet. I might be heading up to Florida on the 26th for the Friday Night Lights Camp."
"He (Norton) has already taken a visit to North Carolina. But we have been talking about taking a trip up there and seeing the campus and meeting the coaches. He is always wearing some type of North Carolina gear, and I get jealous that I haven't been able to get up there yet."
North Carolina has been Smith's top school so far during his recruitment but could be listening to other schools and seeing what other might be interested in him.
"My top school is North Carolina right now but would really like to check out LSU, Florida, Clemson, and Florida State. But, my top school is North Carolina."
"The first thing is that they were my first offer, they just liked me," Smith told THI when asked about what he likes about UNC. "They have done it since day one. They also put talent in the NFL. I also have a teacher that went to North Carolina and she told me that the academics are great, along with the campus being beautiful."
Smith talked about what he would be able to bring to a team, as he said his uniqueness of versatility and athleticism at the linebacker position would be one of his best attributes. He moves very well at the position, almost like a safety. His ability to excel in coverage and in run stopping are a few of his strengths, but will continue to work on his overall game before college.
When asked about committing, Smith might be making his call sooner than some think.
"I thought about making a commitment in August but people have been telling me to hold it back. But my patience is running thin though."
Either way, North Carolina seems to be in good condition with the Florida linebacker and has been able to develop chemistry with the coaches. Smith is looking for a place where he can be comfortable with his position coach and that can develop him into the player to fulfill his dream of the NFL.
Coordinator Disch seems to be making that impact with the Florida native and could be starting the 2015 recruiting season off early.
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