Target 2005: Rand Smith

BOILING SPRINGS LAKES, N.C. – Along with his teammate Scott Long, South Brunswick quarterback Rand Smith is also getting a lot of attention from the North Carolina coaching staff, just not to the same extent.

At 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Rand Smith is an excellent passer and an extremely tough runner, although his speed is just slightly above average with a 4.6 time in the 40-yard dash. According to Cougars coach Troy Kessinger, he would likely project as an athlete or defensive back type at the Division I level, unless Smith and wide receiver Scott Long can have a phenomenal year throwing and catching the ball.

"If you had to rate him on just what he's done so far, Rand is a better player right now than Scott is, because he just knows so much more about the game," Kessinger said. "Now if he goes out and throws for 2,500 yards this fall, then he might get more looks as a quarterback.

"Carolina has been in contact with him a decent amount, I just don't think he is on the short list that Scott is."

That would be an accomplishment in the notoriously run-oriented 2-A Waccamaw conference. However this will be the first time the two have been able to hook up since Long tore his ACL early last season.

"All you have to do is give him the ball and he'll make something happen," Smith said of Long. "He's explosive."

Smith is an excellent student with a 3.3 G.P.A. and although would have to be considered a sleeper at this point, if he can put together a solid summer and 2004 season, then expect to hear from him again.

"Playing college football has been something I've always wanted to do," Smith told Inside Carolina from his school last week. "I've got to get bigger, and I've got to get faster. I've got to work harder in the weight room to try and get ready. I think I've got it and can make that happen."

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