To pigeonhole North Carolina pledge Jonathan Smith simply as a run-stuffing middle linebacker would be inaccurate. While stopping the run is definitely his greatest strength, the 6-foot, 228-pounder is also adept at pursuing ball carriers all over the field and making plays in pass coverage.
For Laurinburg (N.C.) Scotland, which finished the 2015 season 12-1 in the state’s top classification, Smith led with 120 tackles. Tackles, especially on the high school level, are the most subjective statistic in football, but the fact that Smith’s count nearly doubled the next guy speaks volumes.
Smith quickly fills downhill and pursues hard. In pass coverage, he’s patient, sees the field well, and picked off a few passes as a senior.