2009 Intro: Quin Smith

LENOIR, N.C. --- Since stepping onto the field for Hibriten as a freshman, Quin Smith has been a force in the Panthers' secondary.

"We put our best player at free safety," Hibriten head football coach Chuck Cannon said. "… Opponents really didn't throw the ball across the middle too much this year or last, because as a tenth grader [Smith] was real physical on crossing routes."

Junior Season Highlights:

Smith, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder, plays a center fielder-like role at safety where he led Hibriten in tackles with 182 last fall. He also intercepted four passes.

Heading into his junior season, Smith landed the starting fullback role in Hibriten's triple-option offense. On the year, he carried the ball 176 times for 1,074 yards and 17 touchdowns, and caught 16 passes for 246 more yards and four scores.

For his production on both sides of the ball Smith was named Catawba Valley Conference Player-of-the-Year. He also was named to the All-Area team for the second time and the All-Conference team for the third time.

"He's just an outstanding player," Cannon said. "[He's] a real dominating player on offense and just a real physical player on defense… He's one of the best that I've ever been around."

Opponents aren't the only ones to take notice of Smith's abilities. Smith has been offered a scholarship by East Carolina and is fielding strong interest from Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, NC State, and Stanford.

Smith says ECU and UNC are recruiting him the hardest. He speaks to his primary recruiter at both schools weekly.

Steve Hagen is handling Smith's recruitment for UNC.

"Mostly, [we talk about] current events and stuff going on, on campus," Smith said. "He's just trying to keep me filled in."

UNC has been on the brink of extending Smith a scholarship offer for several months now.

"Last time I went down there [for the junior day in February], I was supposed to be offered. But I wasn't, because they didn't have enough film," Smith said. "But we've sent more film, so maybe next time [I visit] I'll get offered.

"I was supposed to go down to Carolina [last] Saturday, but they canceled their spring game. So now whenever I go back down there maybe [they will offer]."

If UNC comes through with an offer, Smith, who lists the Tar Heels as his leader, could end his recruitment.

"If they offer me, I probably would go ahead and commit," Smith said.

"I've been a Carolina fan since I was little. I like the campus and the school spirit. I like how their coaches are – how they treat people. And then [I like] its facilities for football. Also, they started a lot of true freshmen, so maybe I'll have a chance to play [early] if I get it done if I go to that college."

Ideally, Smith would like to have his collegiate decision out of the way before the summer.

"I don't want to worry about it during my senior year and be stressed out about it," Smith said.

In addition to UNC's Junior Day, Smith has attended a couple games in Chapel Hill. He has also unofficially visited Clemson and East Carolina this spring, and plans to attend several college camps this summer.

Outside of East Carolina, schools are recruiting Smith as an outside linebacker. ECU would like to keep Smith in the secondary.

"He makes lots and lots of plays, so he's going to be a good college football player for somebody – wherever you put him," Cannon said.

Quin Smith Profile

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