This is the fourth in a series of Q&A's with Bi-City recruits in the Class of 2016. For the complete Q&A, go to ledger-enquirer.com/valley-preps. Coming Friday: Pacelli’s Mikal Marble.
The recruiting process is never over.
Carver defensive back Javontay Smith knows that. Despite committing to North Carolina last November, college coaches from a number of different schools are still making aggressive runs at the 6-foot-2 senior.
Recruiting outlet 247sports lists Smith as “warm” toward Alabama and Louisville, both of which have offered him. His “cool” prospects are plentiful: LSU, Nebraska, South Florida, Tennessee, UCLA and Virginia Tech.
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Last Thursday when he spoke to the Ledger-Enquirer, however, Smith was wearing a pale blue shirt, like those worn by the Tar Heels, and he said that’s the color he’s still loyal to.
That doesn’t mean the decision isn’t difficult. With a little more than seven months left before his signing day, Smith expects to be busy fielding calls and letters the entire time.
You’re committed to North Carolina. Since you committed, how has the process changed?
It got harder, for real. More teams coming in, more coaches. I just got offered by Tennessee. It’s just been busy. Real busy.
Why is that, you think?
They’re just trying to get me to flip. Everybody wants to make their pitch to you, try to get you to change your mind.
Was it important for you to make a commitment early, though?
Oh, yeah, I think it’s helped out a lot. With the commitment, I’ve got a name and a title, so I can just stay focused on football right now.
What did you like about North Carolina?
The coaches, they’re great people. The community, the campus — all the blue (laughs).
Yeah, I noticed you were wearing the Carolina blue today. You wear that all the time now?
Oh, definitely. It looks good.
How exciting is it to know that you’ll be playing big time college football in just another year? What’s that like?
Really, it’s a mind thing. I’ve got to get ready for it, get my mind trained. I need to train myself, stay in shape. It motivates me.
What are you trying to focus on improving for the next level?
I want to get better at tackling. They’re going to play me at safety, a safety who does more. More to the ball. So, tackling’s going to be important.
What’s the focus right now on high school, individually or as a team?
As a team, we’re really focused on building ourselves. We want to come together as a team. The talent’s never a question. It’s about the team. If you want to be a team, it takes more than talent. We’re motivated to get back on top in the region, for sure.
David Mitchell, Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.