Sammy Batten Staff writer @FO_SammyBatten

In a North Carolina Class of 2018 filled with talented running backs, Jahmir Smith of Lee County may have the most unique list of scholarship offers.

Smith, a 6-foot, 200-pounder who ran for 2,130 yards and 40 touchdowns as a junior in 2016, can count traditional national football powers such as Nebraska, Notre Dame and Southern California among the 30-plus offers he’s received to date. But along with those in pursuit of Smith are stellar academic institutions such as Brown, Columbia, Northwestern, Princeton and Vanderbilt.

You see, Jahmir Smith is just as brilliant in the classroom as he is on the football field. According to Lee County head coach Burton Cates, Smith boasts a 4.6 grade point average and is on course to complete his high school degree requirements by December.

“He is not your regular 17-year-old high school running back,” said Cates, a 32-year North Carolina coaching veteran. “His transcript is unbelievable. And these aren’t elective classes he’s taking. They are very high academic courses.”

Cates said his office has been a revolving door this spring for college coaches, who have come to Sanford to learn more about Smith and his freshman teammate, defensive end Desmond Evans.

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