RB Jahmir Smith Finalizing Return to UNC

The in-state running back takes his newfound attention/fame in stride.

MATTHEWS, N.C. --- As recently as March, Jahmir Smith held seven scholarship offers. That count has ballooned to 33.

"It's pretty crazy," Smith said. "But, it's whatever."

In actuality, the influx of new offers is the least of the craziness. According to Sanford (N.C.) Lee County assistant coach Foster Cates, Smith has been in discussions with the Steve Harvey and Ellen Degeneres Shows for potential appearances. Last week, a local news station did a feature on him. Each entity wants to highlight his impressive ability to excel both on the field and in the classroom to the highest degree.

As a junior, Smith, a 6-foot, 200-pound running back, rushed for 2,130 yards and 40 touchdowns -- with a 6.7-yard average -- for a 12-2 team. Meanwhile, he maintains a 4.0 GPA with most of his core classes behind him.

Despite the influx of new offers, Smith is sticking to a June verbal commitment. In preparation, he'll announce a list of finalists -- consisting of a yet-to-be-determined number of schools -- shortly after the Spring Evaluation Period.

"I'm just going to wait until all the coaches finish coming through spring practice [and] getting to meet them," Smith said. "Because getting to meet the coach could change your opinion on a school."

Smith says no schools have earned a spot on his finalist list. But, if the situation were handicapped, favorable odds would be placed on North Carolina.

"They're be up there, because it's an in-state school," Smith said of UNC's odds."But I can't put a number on it."

As a recruit, Smith visited UNC three times this offseason (two junior days, followed by a spring practice). It also happens to be the only school he plans on visiting in the near future. The coming visit will focus primarily on academics.

"I think [the UNC coaches] are going to have me go meet with a doctor," Smith said. "So, I'll probably go check that out. I think he's an anesthesiologist, also. It's pretty cool -- I've never done anything like that."

After his playing days are over, Smith aspires to be an anesthesiologist.

As a son, Smith has made countless visits to Chapel Hill -- to visit his mother, who is a nurse at UNC Hospitals. That could help or hurt the Heels' chances.

"It could be a good thing, it could be a bad thing," Smith said. "You don't want to be around mom all the time, but then again she's right there if I need anything."

Since DeAndre Smith became UNC's running backs coach in February, he's spent a good chunk of his time building a relationship with Smith.

"We're real cool," Smith said. "He texts me every now and then. I sent him some pictures of me [on Saturday] night when I went to prom."

Besides UNC, Smith has made visits to Clemson, Duke, NC State, Northwestern, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin the past few months.


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