Javontay Smith’s verbal commitment anniversary is Thursday. The ramifications of that decision have extended to the high school football field.
“It feels different, because I have a name,” the 6-foot, 185-pound safety said. “I have a title on me. [Opponents] know who I am.”
Despite his lengthy tenure on UNC’s commitment list, Smith says he’ll take all five of his official visits. No trips have been scheduled, but Alabama, Louisville, and LSU – in addition to UNC – are likely destinations. All of his trips will take place after the season to prevent interference with Columbus (Ga.) Carver’s title run.
Of the aforementioned schools, Louisville might pose the greatest threat to UNC. Smith’s teammate and close friend Jawon Pass is committed to the Cardinals. Plus, former teammate (and Jawon’s older brother) Khane Pass is a freshman safety at Louisville.
“You could say [Louisville] has a secret weapon,” Smith said.
All opposition, though, lags behind in the contact department. According to Smith, a week doesn’t go by without hearing from UNC. That communication is usually from Larry Fedora, primary recruiter Chris Kapilovic, and/or secondary coach Charlton Warren.
“They treat me like a player – like I’m one of theirs,” Smith said. “It feels good. It lets me know it’s a good foundation there.”
Others speak to Smith with half the frequency.
“They’re new to me,” Smith said. “They try to talk to me like [UNC] does, but they don’t.”
Since his UNC official visit will likely take place in January and Chapel Hill is nearly eight hours away from Columbus, Smith hasn’t been able to watch a game in Kenan Stadium. But, he has caught all of the Tar Heels’ games this season on television.
“They look good so far,” Smith said. “I just fell in love with the defense.”
Within that defense – which was installed this season – the coaches project Smith to play free safety. In a similar role for Carver he has racked up 45 tackles, four interceptions, and four forced fumbles.
Carver, which ended the regular season 9-1, begins the playoffs on Friday against Riverdale (Ga.) Drew.
“I’m not satisfied yet,” Smith said. “I won’t be satisfied until we accomplish our goal and that’s a state title. Until then, I’m going to stay humble.”
Despite attempts to stay humble, Smith has high aspirations for Carver.
“We’re going all the way,” Smith said. “We have our mind set on it and I feel like we have a good chance.”