Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

UNC Offer is 'Big' for In-state RB Jahmir Smith

Jahmir Smith is up to 15 scholarship offers.

With a new running back coach in place, North Carolina doled out a scholarship offer to an in-state tailback -- Jahmir Smith , a 6-foot, 195-pounder from Sanford (N.C.) Lee County -- on Tuesday.

"I had watched practice and then I got to talk to the coaches," Smith said. "I talked to the running back coach [DeAndre Smith] for a long time. After we finished talking, he said he wanted to offer me and that I have an offer from North Carolina."

In total, 15 schools have now offered Smith. In addition to UNC, that list features Georgia Tech, NC State, Northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, and Ivy Leaguer Princeton.

"[The UNC offer] was big," Smith said. "My mom works at UNC [Hospital] and it being so close, I've always been around UNC. Plus, it's in-state.

"I can't say right now [where UNC ranks]. I'm definitely considering it, if I want to stay in-state."

Smith will announce a top schools list sometime in mid-April. 

"It's too soon to say right now who will be in there," Smith said. "I have to finish with my visits."

Two consequential visits are quickly approaching for Smith. He's scheduled to visit Wisconsin on Tuesday and then Northwestern on April Fool's Day.

Besides UNC, Smith has visited Appalachian State, Charlotte, Duke, NC State, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.

Having elected to graduate from Lee County in December and enroll in college in January, Smith plans to make a verbal commitment before the summer.

Although he knew an offer was possible, the main purpose of Smith's visit to UNC on Tuesday was to watch that day's practice, specifically to see new RB coach DeAndre Smith in action.

"I loved it," Smith said. "Everything was fast, but it was efficient. And Coach Smith seems like a cool dude."

During Smith's prior visits to UNC (which includes January's junior day and the 2016 home-opener), Larry Porter was UNC's running backs coach. Therefore, spending time with DeAndre Smith, Porter's replacement, was paramount for Jahmir Smith.

"He was just giving me the background on himself and all that," Smith said. "And he talked football with me and asked me about myself."

After transferring from crosstown rival Southern Lee approximately a year ago, Smith became Lee County's starting running back. He went on to rush for 2,130 yards and 40 touchdowns -- with a 6.7-yard average -- for a 12-2 team in 2016.

Perhaps more importantly, Smith also thrives off the field. He maintains a 4.0 GPA and, as previously mentioned, is on track to graduate from high school in December.

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