Tar Heels football recruitment is going strong as top prospect OrTre' Smith has announced that North Carolina is in his top 5 that also includes Clemson, USC, Florida, and Georgia. The four-star recruit is ranked the third-best athlete in the nation, and is the top player out of South Carolina. He also ranks 242nd on ESPN's top 300 list.
ESPN's profile on the six-foot-four, 200-pound wide receiver refers to Smith as a big and strong wide receiver with enough athleticism and body control to stay inbounds and pull away from coverage. Everything seems to make him out to be a top-flight talent, except for his running ability. He was clocked running a 4.69 40-yard dash, but seems to have enough speed to become a reliable pass catcher. ESPN believes that his future lies on his ability to develop his speed and separate as a route runner. The concern is that he will always be able to catch the ball, but will always be covered by defenders because he lacks the quickness to break away.
Top5 pic.twitter.com/Pnv8tpVulP— OrTreSmith (@treesmif) June 29, 2016
Smith has cut his list down this early because he plans on graduating from high school early this year. He is expected to announce his college commitment on his birthday, September 11. It was believed that his mother being a former Clemson athlete gave them the upper hand, but the recruitment process briefly broke down at one point, allowing other programs to swoop in. His mother is very involved in the process and is making academics a top priority for her son.
He received his first offers from Florida State and South Carolina in January 2015, and then scholarships poured in from the ACC, SEC, and Big 12 from there. Smith has visited Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia in the past month on unofficial visits, and North Carolina has been on him since they made an offer in September. An incredible junior season shot him up the recruiting boards when he set multiple school records with 84 catches, 1,319 receiving yards, and 16 touchdowns. He also set the single-game school record with 317 receiving yards off 16 catches.