Smith Ready to Finalize Decision

Andre Smith plans to hold a press conference soon to finalize his college destination.

Hats representing Miami, Nebraska, UNC, and Wisconsin will be on the table.

Smith was hoping to schedule his press conference for this Thursday, but he said his parents want it at a later date.

Despite tweets that suggested otherwise, Andre Smith says he remains verbally committed to North Carolina. Furthermore, the 6-foot, 238-pound linebacker from Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian never recanted his nearly 14-month long verbal with the Tar Heels.

Smith, who plans to be a midterm enrollee, took official visits to three of the four aforementioned schools – Nebraska, UNC, and Wisconsin. A member of that trio, Nebraska, recently fired its head coach.

“[Nebraska’s coaching situation] matters, because I want to know who will be coaching me,” Smith said.

After officially visiting UNC in early October, Smith returned to Chapel Hill this past weekend unofficially.

“I just enjoyed being in Chapel Hill [and] being around the coaches and players,” Smith said. “I got to meet new people. The loss was disappointing, but it was just good to get back up there hanging out with the commits.

“I saw the love the university, the players, and coaches have for me. And basically, I saw the need that they had for players.”

Smith made the seven-hour trek – nine with Thanksgiving traffic, according to Smith – to Chapel Hill with fellow pledge and Jacksonville native William Sweet.

“Sweet is going to talk – he’s going to talk to you,” Smith said with a laugh. “We were basically just talking about the future, our plans, what we want to do, and some other things I can’t reveal yet.”

The Jacksonville duo remained in Chapel Hill until Sunday afternoon. For most of their stay, Dan Disch, who not only is a Jacksonville native himself but also grew up in Smith’s neighborhood, was close by.

“With Coach Disch, I know for my next four or five years I’ll be taken care of,” Smith said. “He’s a trustworthy guy who took a chance on me before anyone else. So I have a lot of trust in him. He’s a great coach.”

Following UNC’s devastating loss, Smith and Sweet hung out with a few UNC players, as well as commitments Jalen Dalton and Anthony Ratliff.

“[Dalton, Ratliff, and I] are actually really close – more than people know,” Smith said. “Even before Jalen had committed, we used to talk about it. Long before [the public] knew [that Dalton would commit], I knew it. We used to be in group messages back when Ronnie [Harrison] was committed. We would sit up and talk every night. It would be me, Anthony, Juval Mollette, Jalen, Ronnie, and Shy Tuttle. Shy left us, though.”

On the heels of this past weekend’s visit, Smith says his feelings towards UNC are “strong.”

On Wednesday, Smith will host Disch and Larry Fedora for an in-home visit. An Athletic Scholarship Agreement will be among the paperwork Fedora will be toting.

This weekend, Smith and his Trinity Christian teammates will travel to the Citrus Bowl to play Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage in the FHSAA 3A Championship. Despite missing two games, Smith is second on a star-studded defense in tackles (59).

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