Four-star wide receiver Jay Smith out of Norfolk (Va.) Lake Taylor concluded his recruitment today. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder selected North Carolina State over offers from Clemson, Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech amongst many others.
"I grew up in Raleigh and have been following them since I was little," he said. "I've also been to camps at North Carolina State every year of my high school career. It just feels like I've grown up with their program and coaching wise they really look out for me. They were my first offer and kept in touch throughout the process. I also am comfortable with them because they've already got a Lake Taylor Titan on the team in Phillip Holloman. In the end, I can say location played a factor and North Carolina State just felt like home for me.
"The recruiting process is very tough and it's hard because you have to look at every little factor to find the college for you and I feel like I did that with NC State. I felt very comfortable there every time I went on a trip and I can't wait to get down there and do what I need to for five years to help North Carolina State to the ACC championship."
Smith officially committed to Chuck Amato and the Wolfpack last week.
"I talked to the coaches about a week ago and they were astounded about my decision," he said. "I think coach Amato was always kind of expecting it, but he was very excited and welcomed me to the Wolfpack.
"I think I was all along kind of leaning towards them. I couldn't say there really was a number two school for me through the process. There were a lot of good programs I had to pick from, but I feel like I found the right one for me."
Certainly the Wolfpack have had their struggles recently, but the Rivals250 prospect is confident they'll turn it around.
"Once everyone brought up their struggles, it was a concern for me," he said. "I have talked to the coaches and they continue to state that they are there to stay. They have a good class put together and I'm confident they'll turn out to be a great team in the future."
Smith confirmed he will not take any official visits elsewhere.
"I'm done with the recruiting process and don't plan to take trips to other schools," he said. "I want to focus on doing well in my grades and enjoying my senior year.
"I'm hoping I'll get a chance to start as a freshman once I get to North Carolina State. The coaches have already discussed there is definitely an opportunity for me to play early since they'll be losing some receivers. I'm going to work on getting myself to compete next year."
Smith's father Mordecai, a former Wolfpack player himself was thrilled for his son.
"Jay went through the process on his own looking at various schools including his longtime favorite Miami," he said. "When it came down to it, I really feel he made the best decision out of all the schools academically and athletically. North Carolina State has one of the best architecture programs in the country and he wanted a quality education.
"They are also known for great wide receivers over the years including Torry Holt, Jerricho Cotchery and more. Over the recruiting process, he's talked to some of them and they had great things to say about the Wolfpack. Finally, coach Tressman is an offensive genius. I know he looks forward to working with him."
Lastly, Smith's head coach at Lake Taylor Hank Sawyer discussed what kind of player North Carolina State is getting.
"He's the kind of receiver that defensive backs have a hard time with," he stated. "We're a run first offense and just his presence helps us move the chains because teams have to respect him. We've only thrown the ball 20 times to him this year, but he averages 31-yards per catch. On top of that, he's very aggressive, a terrific perimeter blocker and a hard worker.
"Off the field, he's a gentleman. I had a lot of assistants come in and I told them all to go and meet him first. He's not just a great wide receiver, he's a gentleman's gentleman and I'm proud to have coached him at Lake Taylor."