Q&A with Tyler Smith
Heading into the visit, did you plan to commit?
“Yes. I had planned this for a while. My dad and I had planned this.”
In your mind, when did you know you wanted to commit to UNC?
“When I visited July 24. When I got there all the coaches, they showed me love. When I got there Coach [Gunter] Brewer showed me what position I was exactly going to play. He showed me film – [and said] ‘You’re going to do this’ and ‘You’re going to do that.’ And Coach [Larry] Fedora, I liked his energy – he’s really hyper.”
What went into the decision to commit this weekend?
“We wanted to come up for the Duke game. We don’t get to visit there all the time, so we just figured it would be a perfect time to do it.”
How did you commit?
“I committed in Coach Fedora’s office. I just really told him I was on board.”
What was his reaction?
“Coach Fedora, he pulled me in tight and gave me a big hug.”
What was it about UNC that made you feel like you wanted to commit?
“Whenever I got on campus, I kind of knew I wanted to go there. It’s a great school. I love the coaches. And I know Coach Brewer is going to get me to where I want to go.”
Could you elaborate a little bit more on your relationship with Brewer?
“It was a big part of it, because I’ve got to spend four years with him. And he’s a very nice guy. He told me exactly what I needed to do. He always helped me out whenever I needed something – even before I committed. He told me what I needed to do to get my footwork better, my hands better.”
How does Brewer see you fitting into UNC’s offense? And how do you feel about it?
“He told me I’d come in and play a slot, like where Switz [Ryan Switzer] plays. It doesn’t really bother me – I just want to get on the field.”
What were some of the other schools that had offered and you were considering?
“My top schools were North Carolina, Georgia, and Auburn. I also had offers from Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina State – places like that.”
We’re talking 15 months before you can sign. So how firm is this commitment? Will you visit other schools?
“I’m going to visit a couple of other schools, because you always have to see what else there is. But I really like North Carolina.”
What other schools have you been able to visit?
“I’ve been to Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, and that’s it.”
You’ve mentioned that you want to take some more visits. Where else do you want to visit?
“I’ve already visited Georgia and Auburn, so I’m trying to take a little visit to Tennessee.”
How much have you been able to see UNC play this season? What have you thought?
“I’ve watched every game on TV. It’s actually going pretty good. They score a lot of points and they throw the ball more than they run – that’s what I really like.”
You got to see the atmosphere of Kenan Stadium against one of its biggest rivals. Considering the rain, what did you think?
“The weather didn’t really slow it down – they were still pumped up and on their feet. The student section was going crazy. And when the fans found out that I had committed, they all were shaking me up. It was great.”
Your football season ended prematurely, correct?
“Yes. I played two games. I tore my ACL. I’ll be 100-percent in March.”