“Coach [Larry] Fedora called my coach and put me on the phone,” Smith said. “He told me that I had an offer. I always wanted to be a Tar Heel, so I committed when I heard about [the offer]. I committed right away.”
Smith, a 6-foot, 181-pound safety from Columbus (Ga.) Carver, also possessed an offer from Indiana, while Louisville, Kentucky, Miami, and Nebraska were showing him significant interest.
“I’ve been a fan [of UNC] all my life,” Smith said. “That’s where I want to be. I love Coach Fedora. I love Coach Kap [Chris Kapilovic]. I love the campus, the people, the state, the weather – everything.”
Speaking of Kapilovic, he spearheaded UNC’s recruitment of Smith.
“He’s a fantastic guy,” Smith said. “I just love him. He’s a great coach, likeable, family guy. I wished him a happy birthday – yesterday was his birthday – and I gave him a late birthday present.”
According Joseph Kegler, Smith’s head coach, Louisville plans to make an evaluation trip to Carver High on Friday. The Cardinals coaching staff hinted that if Smith’s size checks out, an offer was likely forthcoming.
Whether Louisville or any other school offers, Smith says his UNC pledge is firm.
“My commitment is 100-percent,” Smith said. “I’m going [to UNC]. There’s no offer that would make me rethink my decision and that’s what I told Coach Fedora.”
However, Smith hasn’t ruled out the possibility of visiting other schools. The Carver football team often travels to colleges together.
“But I’m a Tar Heel,” Smith said.
In June, Smith was part of a group of Carver prospects who camped at UNC. His performance (4.69-second 40-yard dash and 8-foot-11 broad jump, plus work in drills) is what initially caught UNC’s attention.
Smith hopes to return to UNC soon as possible.
The 2014 season is Smith’s first as a varsity starter. In ten games, he has intercepted six passes and made 50 tackles.
“Javontay is a hard worker [and] energetic,” Kegler said. “He’s a sparkplug at practice. He keeps the energy up with all the kids at practice. He’s a smart kid – 3.5 in the classroom. He has a knack for finding the ball and making plays.”
Smith says that UNC hasn’t told him exactly which safety position he’ll play within its 4-2-5 defensive scheme – and even mentioned playing cornerback in certain situations.
“He’s very versatile,” Kegler said. “With our coverages, sometimes he’s down in the box as a linebacker or he’s over the top. I think he’s fine doing anything – he’s very versatile.”
Smith: 'I Committed Right Away'
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