Smith Schedules UNC Return

After UNC's defensive coaches visited him last week, key linebacker target Jonathan Smith planned another trip to Chapel Hill.

Jonathan Smith and primary recruiter John Papuchis have mutually agreed that Smith is due for a return visit to North Carolina.

“I’m supposed to go up there to watch some film and help me understand their defense just in case I do decide to go there,” Smith said. “I’ll be there this weekend, probably.”

Smith, a 6-foot, 214-pound linebacker from Laurinburg (N.C.) Scotland County, is supposed to make the trip with his parents. The wheels began turning for this trip last week when Papuchis, who coaches UNC’s linebackers in addition to recruiting N.C.’s Sandhills, and Gene Chizik, UNC’s defensive coordinator, made an evaluation visit to Scotland County High in the middle of last week.

The visit will be Smith’s first to UNC since attending back-to-back junior days in March. The most recent of those junior days allowed its attendees to watch the Tar Heels first scrimmage of the spring.

“Practice is kind of similar [to my high school practice],” Smith said. “They practice fast.

“I think I’ll fit perfect in their defense. Coach Papuchis said I’ll fit very well.”

While most of that junior day’s guests were limited to the scrimmage, facility touring, and presentations, Smith’s stay also included a meeting with Larry Fedora.

“He didn’t say much other than he needs me on the team,” Smith said. “That means a lot to hear him say that.”

About 15 schools have offered Smith a scholarship with Louisville being the newest addition. Within those offers, a quartet has risen above the rest – Duke, Georgia Tech, Michigan, and UNC.

“I like those schools because of the fan bases, playing opportunities, and education,” Smith said.

Smith says he has yet to establish an order to the aforementioned favorites list. Also, a leader hasn’t emerged among his favorites, he says.

Furthermore, Smith is unsure when he’ll make a verbal commitment. He’s not even sure if a commitment will take place before or after the start of the football season.

“I’ll have to see how things play out,” Smith said.

In the meantime, Smith will continue visiting colleges. Two weekends ago, he attended Tennessee’s spring game. He’s in the process of planning a trip to Michigan, as well as return visits to both Georgia and Tennessee, in addition to this weekend’s trip to Chapel Hill.

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