March 14, 2012
Smith talks recruiting and spring plans
Statesville (NC) South Iredell outside linebacker LaChaston Smith said the NCAA's sanctions on North Carolina do not affect his recruitment.
"I don't know the full details, but from what it sounds like they [UNC] made some crazy decisions and they paid the ultimate price for it," Smith said. "I'm pretty sure Coach [David] Duggan will talk to me on Facebook about it, and then I'll call him and we'll get in touch or Coach [Larry] Fedora."
Academics are very important to Smith. He said that student athletes should be students first and athletes second. Smith added that an education will take him further in life than football ever will.
"Honestly I want to see if their [UNC] graduation rate can go up, and [if] they can have mandatory tutoring sessions," Smith said. "That's my main thing in every school. They have to have mandatory tutoring sessions and a mentor or something like that. They have to have extra academic help. Education may just save your life, because you may get hurt in football."
The 6-feet, 215-pounder has seven scholarship offers, while 17 other schools are showing interest. For Smith it all depends on which one makes the best pitch.
East Carolina made a lasting impression when he made the trip to Greenville Tuesday, Feb. 28.
"It was one of the best if not the best college visits I've been on, and the reason I say that is because everything was about me," Smith said. "It was my own Junior Day, like no other athlete were there besides Quataye Smyre and he's my cousin and he went up there with me. I talked to Coach [Duane] Price and all the other coaches and Coach [John] Wiley. All of us sat down, had a nice conversation, had lunch [and] went over to the campuses and it was amazing, because it was all about me. It showed me how interested they are to let me have my own Junior Day. Not many schools offer that. You can't turn that down."
Smith does not have a favorite. However, he said the Pirates have always been high on his list and that he will not forget that visit, especially when it is decision time.
The outside linebacker, who is also being recruited as a safety by some schools enjoyed a visit to Wake Forest for its Junior Day Saturday, Feb. 25.
"I like their [Wake Forest] coaching staff," Smith said. "Their coaching staff is above normal. They're really cool. It's not even tough, because they talk to you like they've known you for years as well."
Lonnie Galloway is pursuing him for the Demon Deacons.
"Coach Galloway at Wake Forest he's really cool," Smith said. "He's my cousin's [Quan Rucker] position coach. I call him [Galloway] a lot. We just talk. I know no matter where I make my decision he's going to support me and he's going to be happy for me, so he's one of those coaches."
Smith said Florida linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Dan Durkin recruits similarly to Wake's coaches.
During spring break the versatile athlete and his teammate, Adrian Whitener will make the trip to Gainesville April 4.
"I'm not even going to lie, when I first received an offer from Florida I was really close to committing, but I was like I've got to wait it out," Smith said. "I can't just commit. Who knows what kind of offers I'm going to get, but Florida is the top of the top of offers. You can barely get bigger than that, so I just hope that it's what I'm looking for and maybe I'll commit, maybe I won't, but I still can't show no favorites, because that's not my style of recruiting. I can't just assume Florida's my favorite school, because they're a big school. It's not like that, so I've got to see all of the schools I'm getting recruited by before I make my decision."
In 10 games Smith recorded 82 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, five sacks, two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns, and four pass breakups.
Smith missed the final four games of the season due to injury.
South Iredell advanced to the third round of the state playoffs to finish with a 13-1 record.
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