“Going up there on the visit a couple of weekends back just basically showed me that I really loved the place,” Smith said. “Not just football wise, but outside of football. The school is great. I really love being in Chapel Hill. I really like the community. I just feel like, if I have to live somewhere for four years, that would be the place.
“I feel like they need me, it has a good coaching staff, good players that want to win and change the program around, and it’s one of the top public schools in the nation.”
Smith, a 6-foot, 238-pound linebacker, also credits his relationship with Dan Disch. Not only is Disch a fellow Jacksonville native, but he grew up in Smith’s neighborhood and graduated from Terry Park High School – the school Smith began his prep career.
“The next four or five years, I know I’ll be well taken care of by [Disch],” Smith said. “He’s a trustworthy guy that I have a lot of trust in. I just believe I’m in good hands with him as my coach the next four years.”
Originally, Smith verbally committed to the Tar Heels in October of his junior year. However, he bookended his UNC official visit with officials to Nebraska and Wisconsin. He also garnered interest from in-state Miami.
After finishing his official visit schedule, Smith returned to UNC on his own dime for the Tar Heels’ regular season finale against rival NC State. While most visiting recruits departed Chapel Hill after the game, Smith remained in the area until late the next morning. He hung out with several UNC players that Saturday night and then returned to the football offices the next day to inform the staff that his commitment was firm.
Although his decision had been made, the fact that both Nebraska and Wisconsin are in the process of changing head coaches simplified Smith’s choice.
“That really wasn’t a factor, but I guess it was a sign that I’m making the right decision,” Smith said.
Smith says everything is in line for him to enroll at UNC for the spring semester, which starts early next month.
This past Saturday, Smith helped Trinity Christian claim its second FHSAA 3A State Championship. He was second on the team in tackles (65) for the season, while also compiling 5.5 for a loss.
Andre Smith Profile
Andre Smith Profile
Smith Headed to Chapel Hill
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