Smiley: 'I Made The Right Decision'

Smiley: 'I Made The Right Decision'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --- Sam Smiley announced on Wednesday that he will be signing with North Carolina. Minutes after the 6-foot, 175-pound athlete from Jacksonville (Fla.) Raines put on the UNC hat, he spoke with InsideCarolina.com ...

Why did you pick UNC?

"I loved the coaches and the atmosphere of the campus."

When did you finalize your decision?

"I finalized my decision when I went up to North Carolina on my visit (last month)."

What were the coaches' reactions?

"They were thrilled; I knew at that point when I committed that I had made the right decision."

How did your official visit to UNC affect your decision?

"The campus felt like home when I went there. The coaches really welcomed me and seemed like a great fit for me."

What assistant coach at UNC was most instrumental in your decision?

"Coach Douglas, I love Coach Douglas. He was from Jacksonville and he knew what I was going through and he had a lot of insight into what I wanted from a university like North Carolina."

What was your in-home visit with Coach Davis like last week?

"Coach Davis was down to earth. I didn't know he was down to earth like that. He made me feel like I was one of his own kids and that helped me in making my decision."

Have you kept in touch with UNC freshman and Raines alum Sean Tapley throughout the process? Did he try to recruit you and did that factor into your decision?

"Yeah, the whole time. He not only told me how the school was but gave me a better understanding of how it was from his point of view, which I really valued because he was in the same situation I was and he ended up making the decision to go to UNC."

When did you let him know you were going to pick UNC?

"I have not told him yet, I kept it hidden from him the whole time but I will tell him later today for sure."

What'll it be like playing a position you didn't played in high school? What will that transition from quarterback to cornerback be like?

"Coach Wiley has been helping me, the whole season he has been putting me at DB during practice. I didn't play the quarterback position that much during practice because he knew that I would be playing DB in college. So I have gotten a lot experience as a defensive back this season."

What about that position do you think makes you a good fit for it?

"I have good hand-eye coordination; I can really judge the ball in the air from being a quarterback and I have good ball skills as well."

InsideCarolina.com also talked with Raines High School head coach Deran Wiley about Smiley's future at UNC.

Why do think Smiley will be a good fit for the Tar Heels?

"Well, first of all the coaching is superb at UNC and he is a heck of an athlete. So I think he is going to do very well. He is a go-getter. He is a football player. That's what I like about Sam. Whatever position you put him at he will shine because he is a football player and that's why he will do very well in the ACC."

What do think about Smiley's transition from QB to DB at the next level?

"Throughout the season I have put him at cornerback and one thing he has shown me is he has great ball skills and he plays with an edge needed for a defensive guy. I don't say this often but I think in three or four years Sam will be one of the premiere backs in the country."

Sam Smiley Profile

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After officially visiting North Carolina over the weekend, Sam Smiley now has a favorite school.

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