Mordecai Smith Opening Statement:
I want to thank everyone for coming. On behalf of the Smith family, we are so proud of Jay. He's been just a wonderful son.
I just want to thank everyone for coming out, so I'll turn it over to Jay at this time to make his announcement.
Jay Smith Opening Statement:
In keeping this brief and to the point, I first want to thank God for blessing me and my family. While I know recruiting will continue until February 1st of next year, it is me and my family's wishes for me to verbally announce where I plan to attend and play college football.
I also wish to publicly thank all the coaches from all 52 colleges that awarded me written scholarship offers. Each and every letter will be greatly appreciated and remains as my keepsake.
I would like to sincerely thank my parents for their love and support.
After careful consideration and guidance, I presently plan to play college football at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Coach Chuck Amato and his staff have been apart of my life as I've grown up. Now I have the opportunity to be a Wolfpacker and help them on their quest to the ACC championship.
Who were the others that you were considering?
University of Miami University of Florida, University of Notre Dame, University of Clemson, University of Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
What was it about NC State?
I've been going to various camps there ever since I was little... like since the age of 10. I just grew up in Raleigh. I've got another Titan that went to NC State, Phillip [Holloman], he's down there, and it's just a great place. It's a great atmosphere down there, and I can't wait to get it all started.
Former UNC Running Back Amos Lawrence (Lake Taylor Alum/Family Friend):
Even though Jay is going to my rival school, I'm still going to share the honor by putting this State hat on him.
Local Football Advisor Orlando Goodhope:
In keeping with the tradition of Tidewater athletics, I am as well proud of this Lake Taylor Titan and I want to place this tie of North Carolina State around his neck... to signify him joining the family of the Wolfpack.
Lake Taylor Head Coach Hank Sawyer
Good evening everybody... I met Jay a long time ago. He was my ballboy, and I knew he had a great love for football. He's a gentleman's gentleman.
I remember talking to coach Amato and then I talked to his assistants. I also talked to Bill Keady who recruits for Penn State... and all the assistant coaches that came around and asked me about Jay. I said, "If you can't deliver that guy to coach Paterno, you better not let him meet him because he'll fall in love with him because he's a gentleman's gentleman."
Jay is a very humble athlete. He brings much to the table. He has a burning desire and love for mankind and people. He's just been a tremendous blessing for our team.
Jay brings so much outside of football. A lot of people weren't fair to him, asking why he wasn't catching so many passes. We're a run-first team, and Jay did all the things that you ask your son or good athlete to do in the offseason. He got faster, he got stronger, and when he went to the combines he put on a show. A lot of people ask who is Jay Smith? Well Jay Smith is a great blocker, Jay Smith is a great receiver, but most of all Jay Smith is a gentleman.
He never let any of those other things get to him. I always told Jay that he can bring those people to me because I know who you are. I'm proud that Jay Smith was a part of Lake Taylor football. Thank you.
How long has NC State known of your decision?
About a week or so.
What was their reaction?
They were astounded. They've always wanted me to come. As I said, I grew up in the program and they've been monitoring me ever since I've grown up... I can't wait to get down there.
Were you leaning to them throughout the process?
Yes I was leaning towards them throughout the process, but I've admired programs like Miami and Florida... I thought about it but my family and everything went into consideration. I put everything together to find the best fit for me, and I believe I found that in NC State.
Was there a No. 2?
If there was a No. 2, I wouldn't know where to start because there is a lot of good programs out there. Florida, Miami, Tennessee... you can say they were all No. 2.
When you pick a college, basically you're trying to pick something to determine how you're going to be later on in life. You've got to pick something that's going to provide the future for you, and I think that's what I've done by picking NC State.
Were the in-state programs under consideration?
They were at some time, but NC State has just been there the whole time. I got my first offer from them, and I can't wait to get down there.
Who was your main recruiter at NC State?
Really I can't say because they all were involved.
Did coach Dixon factor in?
He was a big factor. You know, people say why didn't you go to Florida, why didn't you go to Miami, well he coached when Steve Spurrier was at Florida. Basically I'm getting a little bit of Florida by going down there. I just can't wait to get the show on the road.
Do you plan on taking any other visits?
I'm done. I'm just going to get my grades and try to get everything set... just finish the year out, go to prom, just have a good time.
You mentioned this earlier, but why did the criticism on coach Amato not factor into your decision?
There was some concern that he's not winning, he might get fired, but I talked to the coaches and they assured me that wouldn't be a concern. They said they wouldn't bring me into a situation where he would leave right when I got there.
I can't say enough about the coaching staff. They are just so courteous.
You mentioned that NC State is just a few points away from winning every game. Do you really believe they are that close?
They are just that little step away from being a great team. They showed it when they played Florida State and a couple of other teams. They are just that one step away and I hope that me and a couple of other guys coming in can provide that step so they can get to the next level.
Did talking to recruits factor into your decision?
Yes, it's just great when you can mesh with other recruits that's coming in with you because those are the guys you'll be with over the next four or five years.
I've talked to some of the guys, a quarterback Russell Wilson, a couple of other guys, I can't remember their names but I've talked to them. I just can't wait to get down there.
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