NC State landed its first commitment for the class of 2006 nearly a year ago and, ever since, rumors have persisted that DT Gavin Smith (6-4, 265 pounds) of Wakefield High School in Raleigh, NC may be wavering on that pledge. Registering 70 tackles and three forced fumbles as a junior, Smith is one of the state's premier defensive linemen and the early commit to the Pack hasn't stopped others from pursuing the rising senior. However, Smith recently told Pack Pride that nothing has changed in his mind as far as how solid he remains in the Pack's corner.
"My commitment to State is still as strong as when I first committed," Smith said. "I'm not just opening up now. I've always been open to other schools and I told State and everyone else that when I committed. So, nothing has really changed for me. I'm not more interested or less interested in Duke or any other school. My commitment is still just as strong."
The Blue Devils have made a particularly strong push for Smith and are the only program to officially offer besides the Wolfpack. Other schools to get seriously involved are Ohio State, UNC and East Carolina. Smith plans to camp at each one this summer. While some may look at that fact as a possible de-commit waiting to happen, Smith said the Pack coaches have done nothing to persuade him from checking out other schools.
"When I committed to State they told me it was a verbal commitment which meant that's where I want to go right now," Smith said. "They've never put any pressure on me to stick with them."
While the Pack won't discourage Smith from checking out other schools, they certainly won't take his commitment for granted either. He was the first recruit landed by NC State defensive line coach Todd Stroud and Stroud will remain as the primary recruiter for Smith in 2005. It's a pretty safe bet that Stroud will be working diligently to ensure Smith stays in the Pack's camp right up until signing day next February.