"LaChaston is a very aggressive linebacker," South Iredell head football coach Scott Miller said. "He's a linebacker that thrives on hitting. He has great closing speed and plays well between the tackles. He has a great football IQ and understands the game."
As a sophomore, Smith was named Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year after tallying 99 tackles and seven sacks from his defensive end position. For his junior season, Smith was moved to middle linebacker to offset opposing offense's game planning.
"At defensive end, people were able to game plan a little bit more around him," Miller said. "We put him in the middle of the field, because he could run sideline-to-sideline. It helps us out because not a lot of people like to run right at him. We tell him anything between tackle-to-tackle he's going to stop it."
Smith ended his junior season with 82 tackles (including 13 for a loss), a sack, five forced fumbles, two interceptions (both returned for touchdowns), and two pass breakups. His statistics that season, though, don't speak to his abilities, because a broken foot cut his season short in the tenth game and four of the games he played in he sat the second half since South Iredell had a significant lead.
"He's still young at the position, but still had a tremendous year," Miller said.
East Carolina, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wake Forest have offered Smith, with UNC being the most recent.
"I called [UNC on Wednesday] at the school and I talked to Coach [Larry] Fedora and Coach [Dave] Duggan," Smith said. "They were just so excited about talking to me. They want to have as many recruits from North Carolina to stay in North Carolina as possible. And he told me I was one of their No. 1 picks."
The UNC offer doesn't change Smith's "open" approach to the recruiting process – he claims absolutely no favorite schools.
"It just gave me another choice, honestly," Smith said. "It just continues to open things up for me."
Smith, who is being recruited as middle linebacker, is looking to make a verbal commitment in mid-September.
"I want to collect as many offers as I can get and then go through all the colleges and see which ones have my major – I want to major in sports medicine," Smith said. "After that, I'll be looking at graduation rate. And then athletics – athletics will always be last. If the college has everything I need, no matter what college I go to I'll be able to go to the next level. I'm not going to wait forever for offers."
Clemson, East Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee haven't offered, but are expressing significant interest.
Smith has made a visit to East Carolina and UNC, and has tripped to Clemson three times. His most recent Clemson visit occurred over the weekend for the Tigers' Junior Day. He has plans to attend junior days at Florida, UNC, Virginia, and Wake Forest in February.
Smith is currently averaging over 24 points-per-game for South Iredell's basketball team. He is also a part of the track and field team participating in the 200-meter dash, shot put, and discus. His best time in the 200 is 22.9 seconds… Smith is cousins with current Tar Heel P.J. Clyburn. He also has cousins at Wake Forest and Clemson, and is close to former teammate Quataye Smyre, who signed with East Carolina.