Smith Visits Chapel Hill

Donovan Smith, a four-star offensive tackle, included North Carolina among a three-school trip on Tuesday.

"North Carolina, the campus is very convenient, because the classes are close to the football building," Smith said. "… The facilities are top notch. It's beautiful. [I liked] the atmosphere and the stuff they're doing – like the renovations to the stadium."

Smith, a 6-foot-5, 260-pounder from Owings Mills (Md.), also visited Duke and NC State on Tuesday. He was hoping the visits would help him in the narrowing down process, but that wasn't the case.

"[Those visits] didn't help me one bit," Smith said with a laugh. "I'm thinking I'm out here seeing and I'm eliminating schools and it's just opening my eyes more. It's making it more difficult... I have more schools to look into more."

Smith hasn't eliminated anyone yet. However, he did admit that Maryland, UNC, Penn State, UCLA, and Virginia are "standing out."

"Those [schools] are definitely going to make the cut," Smith said. "Basically, they're telling me how great of a player I am, the environment, the fan base, the facilities, [and] the coaching staffs tell you the truth."

Smith believes he'll have his list of schools under contention trimmed to five by the end of his football season. After officially visiting those five schools, he'd like to announce his collegiate destination during one of the All-American games, if he's selected.

"[I'll be focused on] depth chart because you know everybody would like a chance to play early, academics, fan base, family atmosphere, coaching staff, [and] coaches-player relationships," Smith said.

UNC is the only school "standing out" for Smith that hasn't offered him a scholarship.

"They're talking [about offering me] – they're going to have a meeting," Smith said. "They said I should know after their camp they have this weekend."

The status of a possible UNC scholarship offer was discussed during a meeting with Sam Pittman, UNC's offensive line coach, which took up much of the three hours he was at UNC.

"Coach Pittman, he had my highlights – I think it was just the first three games of the season," Smith said. "He saw that I was a good player, but he didn't really see anything. But he told me straight up: he screwed up my recruitment for North Carolina. He basically told me the truth.

"He's evaluating me now. I've grown and he's seen the one-on-ones that I've been doing at camps. He's basically taking a second look."

Smith did pick up a scholarship offer while at NC State, bringing his total to 18. He has also been offered by Buffalo, Clemson, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Duke, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan State, New Mexico, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, UCLA, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.

In addition to the offer status, Smith's meeting with Pittman included going over Smith's film.

"He basically evaluated it and said what I needed to do to fix it [problems]," Smith said. "He was asking me if I was willing to work hard, because I have the athleticism and the character."

UNC has already accepted verbal commitments from four offensive line prospects.

"[Pittman] said he's looking to bring in one or two more [offensive linemen]," Smith said. "But the funny thing is, I met with the D-line coach, [John Blake], and he's in love with me, too. So I gave both of them my highlight tape. Hopefully I'll get offered for one or the other."

UNC is recruiting Smith as an offensive tackle, until he's informed otherwise.

Smith didn't receive an opportunity to speak with Butch Davis, individually. However, Davis briefly dropped by Smith's meeting with Pittman.

"[Davis] basically looked at me [and] he asked me what I would like to study," Smith said. "He said he had a meeting, but he gave me the ‘eye ball' test."

Smith's UNC visit also included a tour of the campus by Marcus Berry, Director of Player Personnel.

"I got a full blown tour walk around the facilities – the weight room, locker room," Smith said. "And then we got in the [golf] cart and rolled around the campus, saw the dorms, saw the basketball museum.

"[Berry] said the football building is right in the middle of the campus. So you go either east or west and it's about ten minutes each way. [The campus] is very convenient to kids who don't have cars and very time manageable."

Smith will conclude his summer visits by camping at Virginia this week and visiting Penn State on July 30.

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