LAURINBURG — Scotland’s Jonathan Smith saw his recruiting activity soar after completing an impressive junior season, and now the Associated Press all-state linebacker has set a date and venue to announce his college destination.
Smith will publicize his choice Friday at “Laurinburg After Five,” a community event sponsored by Murphy-Brown LLC held at the James L. Morgan Recreation Complex.
Duke and North Carolina are the favorites to land Smith, who has visited both schools this month.
In addition to the Blue Devils and Tar Heels, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech are among the 16 Division I schools that have offered the 6-foot-1, 230-pound senior.
“I’m ready for (Friday) to get here so I can make the decision,” Smith said at the Southeastern Conference coaches meeting with the media last weekend.
“I’m already focused on the season, but it would just take a load off and help me get ready for the season.”
Smith rebounded from a major knee injury that wiped out his sophomore campaign to win the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award last year.
He led the Scots in tackles, recording 156 stops at the middle linebacker position. He also notched 22 tackles for loss, four sacks and an interception. A player known for having a nose for the ball carrier, Smith tallied a season-high 28 tackles (15 solo, 13 assisted) in an early-season victory against Jack Britt.
In addition to earning all-SEC honors, Smith was also named to the Associated Press all-state team after helping Scotland reach the quarterfinals of the North Carolina 4A playoffs.
Smith’s 2014 accomplishments landed him on NCPreps.com’s preseason all-state team, which was released earlier this month. He, along with Pinecrest offensive lineman Sean Pollard, are the only two SEC players to earn the distinction. Pollard committed to Clemson in December.
Smith and the Scots open the regular season at home against South View Aug. 21.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.