Signee Update: Sam Smiley

After quarterbacking its football team to a 9-3 record, North Carolina signee Sam Smiley led both Jacksonville (Fla.) Raines' basketball and baseball squads.

"The basketball season went well," Smiley said. "The baseball season ended last week. It wasn't a good season. It was a bad season – very bad."

Ironically, basketball team posted a winning record, 17-7, but failed to reach the playoffs, whereas the baseball squad made the playoffs with a losing record of 6-11. Smiley started at point guard on the basketball team, where he averaged 10.2 points-a-game. He played centerfield and shortstop, while batting cleanup for the baseball team.

Due to his sports schedules, Smiley didn't begin consistently working out until recently. He's now in the weight room before and after school, four days a week, following the workout regimen UNC sent him.

"There's a lot more reps [with UNC's workout] than what I've done in high school," Smiley said.

During the basketball season, Smiley's weight dropped to 159 pounds. He's been able to bring it back up to his football season's playing weight of 175 pounds.

"I didn't work out at all during basketball, because I didn't want to throw off my shot," Smiley said.

Smiley aims to reach the 180-185-pound range before he reports to UNC on June 13.

Since selecting UNC on Signing Day, Smiley says he and primary recruiter Troy Douglas speak "from time to time."

"We're always joking around," Smiley said. "Sometimes he gets serious and tells me to get it done. But mostly it's just talking to see how I'm doing."

Although quarterback has primarily been his position during his high school career, Smiley will move to cornerback at UNC.

"I played corner two games [last season] when they needed me to guard [the opponents'] best receiver for four quarters," Smiley said. "One of my JV years, I was a fulltime corner. But on varsity, I was straight quarterback."

Smiley expects his learning curve to be moderate.

"It's going to be a change," Smiley said. "I'm going to have to adjust to the technique, that's really it. I know I'll adjust quickly."

Apparently, Douglas agrees.

"Coach Douglas told me I wouldn't have to red-shirt," Smiley said. "I asked him if I would have to [red-shirt], since I'm switching positions and he said I wouldn't have to. He said I have a great chance of playing."

Smiley believes his experience at quarterback will help at the cornerback position.

"When the ball is released and the ball is in the air, I know where the quarterback is trying to put the ball," Smiley said. "I'll know what [the quarterback] is thinking."

Smiley, who wore No. 2 for Raines, says he'll sport No. 11 at UNC.

"[Douglas] said [No.] 11 will be open when I get there," Smiley said. "I just wanted a low number."

Douglas has paired Smiley and fellow Floridian Alex Dixon as roomates.

"It will be good [rooming with Dixon], because we'll be going through the same things and same adjustments," Smiley said. "I talked to him on the phone and during the spring game, too. He's quiet, but I think he's a good kid."

Smiley, who projects as a qualifier by the NCAA Clearinghouse, plans on majoring in business science at UNC. He said he wants to go into computer programming after his football career.

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