UNC became the first school to offer Smith, a 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker from Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy.
"What's behind making this decision was: No. 1 they're a top school in the nation in academics," Smith said. "So if professional football is not in my future, then I'll be able to get a job in business. And then also, I like the coaching staff. I feel like they're on the come up. I believe they're rebuilding the program. I feel like I'll be able to play early. And they were my first offer, so I just felt like they wanted me more than anybody else so they got me."
On the topic of coaching staff, Smith had established a strong relationship with Dan Disch.
"He came and offered me when I was at my old school, Terry Parker," Smith said. "He went to Terry Parker, graduated from Terry Parker. The neighborhood that he grew up in, I'm growing up in. We have that connection living in the same area and going to the same school."
As a sophomore at Terry Parker, Smith totaled 101 tackles, two interceptions, and 6.5 sacks. This summer he transferred to Trinity Christian.
Smith has yet to visit UNC, but plans to travel to Chapel Hill when the Tar Heels host Virginia in November.
"Really, I would just like to tour the facilities," Smith said. "I'd like to meet some coaches, players, and get to know them more. I want to get the grasp of the whole place."
After UNC offered back in January, Smith collected offers from Florida A&M, Massachusetts, and Samford. Clemson, Duke, Kentucky, South Florida and Tennessee are also showing interest.
"I expect a lot more after the season is over," Smith said.
Smith says his commitment is firm, but he hasn't completely closed the door on his recruitment.
"I still want to keep my options open, because you never know what could happen," Smith said. "It's always good to keep your options open."