The Pack targeted two prospects to fill their needs at wide receiver this year and managed to snag them both. Steven Howard from Olympic High School in Charlotte, NC has steadfastly maintained his commitment to NC State despite the dismissal of head coach Chuck Amato. The other part of the duo, Jay Smith from Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk, Va talked with Pack Pride recently about his future plans.
"Coach Amato being let go was a tough loss," said Smith. "I've known him since 7th grade all the way up until my senior year. I knew the whole staff- coach Dixon, coach Trestman, and it was a tough loss but I know you have to move on. They were good people."
Despite the disappointment of knowing he won't be able to play for the staff that recruited him, Smith said he is still firmly committed to playing for NC State.
"I'm still committed," he said. "My mom wants me to go there and my dad wanted me to go there, too. I've had a chance to talk to coach O'Brien and he is a nice guy. Coach Cignetti came by to see me and I'm looking forward to going there."
While recruiting has quieted down quite a bit for Smith since his commitment to State, he continues to hear from a couple of schools.
"I'm still hearing from Maryland and Tennessee but most of the other schools backed off when I committed," he said. "I'm 100% for NC State, though."
Smith is rated a four-star prospect and the No. 24 wide receiver in the nation by Scout.com.
Smith has garnered nearly 35 Division I-A written offers, but he recently narrowed the list to North Carolina State, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Miami, and Tennessee before selecting the Wolfpack.
Smith entered the spring evaluation period with nearly 20 offers, as his father, Mordecai Smith, had already sent junior film to colleges along the east coast. However, his recruitment exploded after Smith earned MVP honors at the Scout.com All-American Combine held in Durham, North Carolina in late March.
Smith ran a blistering 4.47 on a slow track, one of the fastest times at the combine, and he also dominated in one-on-one drills proving to be the best overall player at the event. This combine, which featured elite prospects such as Tyrod Taylor, Peter Lalich, Mark Barnes, Greg Little, Dwight Jones, Gary Gray, and Ryan Houston, was the coming out party for Smith.
"He made great moves with his routes, created separation, caught everything thrown his way, and all that followed up some impressive times during the combine testing portion of the day."
Scout.com has rated Smith the No. 23 wide receiver in the country and a four-star prospect, and he is also regarded as the No. 4 player in the state of Virginia.
"Smith has all the tools to be a very good receiver at the next level, he has the frame, strength, speed, route running, hands, and blocking skills that every coach yearns for," said Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Bob Lichtenfels. "He has a knack for making the tough catch, if it's thrown in his area he is getting it. Smith is also very good in the open field at making defenders miss and getting yards after the catch."
Jay Smith Video
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