The very long recruitment process of Lakota West (Ohio) tight end Alex Smith has finally come to an end and the big winners are the Tar Heels of North Carolina.
"I think the best fit for me, and me and my mom agree, is going to be the University of North Carolina," Smith said in the teleconference. "I want to thank all the schools that recruited me. I made a lot of good bonds with all the coaches. I just feel it's the right fit for me, especially on my last visit."
Smith, a four-star prospect that is the 10th-ranked tight end in the country by Scout.com, recorded 27 receptions for 375 yards and six touchdowns his junior season. Smith's senior football season ended prematurely with a first-round playoff loss, but he registered 23 catches for 411 yards and four touchdowns.
Smith had a pretty good idea North Carolina was going to be his pick, even telling the UNC coaches, but wasn't 100 percent sure until discussion it with his family and announcing it live, becoming North Carolina's 13th commitment for the Class of 2010.
UNC was one of the first school's Smith has visited over the summer after starting to rethink his commitment. Smith took his official visit to Wisconsin during the Badgers' season-opening victory against Northern Illinois and was hosted by fellow-Ohio native Jeff Duckworth, but the early visit to Madison proved to be somewhat of a downfall.
Smith returned to Chapel Hill for an official visit on October 3rd and an unofficial visit October 14 when the Heels upset Miami.
"The initial visit was great visit, but it was kind of short," Smith said. "More the official and the Miami game was the deciding factor, mostly the Miami game because I knew the program had everything I wanted, but being around the players and all the commits."
"That was a for sure moment that I've had when I was on the field. It honestly felt like home where I can see myself in years to come."
Smith originally gave her verbal commitment to Cincinnati in February 2009, but continued taking in summer camps and visits to further evaluate his decision. Smith and Cincinnati eventually parted ways on November 16. Unlike the last time, this, according to Smith, is a firm commitment, as he won't take any more visits.
"I know this is right for me," Smith said. "I am glad to done with the recruiting process and this is a very, very solid decision. This is the program I want to be in."