Dennis Smith Jr., No. 1 point guard in ESPN 100 for 2016, picks NC State

Dennis Smith Jr., the No. 4 player in the ESPN 100 and No. 1 point guard in the 2016 class, has told ESPN he will attend NC State.

Smith chose the Wolfpack over Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisville, Duke and Wake Forest.

"Growing up an NC State fan, I knew they would be one of my top schools," Smith said. "Coach [Mark] Gottfried made me a priority, showing up, sitting in front to all my games in the live periods. That loyalty meant a lot to me. After giving the decision a lot of thought, we all felt State was the best situation for me."

The 6-2, 190-pound Smith is recovering from a torn left ACL suffered while driving to the basket in the semifinals of the Adidas Nations event on Aug. 2. Smith underwent surgery Aug. 7, and his timetable for recovery is expected to be 6-9 months.

"My recovery is going great," Smith said. "Actually, it's going a little faster than expected. I just went from walking with two crutches to walking with one crutch, and my knee is starting to bend ... I am excited."

Smith, the Gatorade Player of the Year in North Carolina last season, averaged 21.8 points per game in 2014-15 and led Trinity Christian School in Fayetteville to the North Carolina Class 1A state semifinals.

Smith is NC State's highest-rated recruit since ESPN began ranking prospects in 2007, but the Wolfpack are also involved with another North Carolina-based prospect, Edrice "Bam" Adebayo (No. 8), and might not be done luring elite-level recruits to Raleigh. Gottfried and assistant coach Orlando Early traveled by helicopter to meet with Adebayo's mother in Pineville, North Carolina on Wednesday -- the first day of the fall recruiting period -- and then flew to Fayetteville to meet with Smith at his school, only to finish the day with Adebayo at his school, High Point Christian.

"They have been on me hard since my sophomore year," Smith said of the Wolfpack. "The relationships I had with Coach Gottfried and Coach Early, I believe in them and they believe in me. State is an underdog in the ACC and at times in the state of North Carolina -- I want to try and help them win a championship, and I believe we can do it. They want me to come in and run the show, and even though the returning roster will be older than me, I am very confident in my abilities."

"My first call is going to be to Bam Adebayo and get him on board," Smith added Thursday.

Smith is the first commitment in NC State's 2016 class. Shooting guard Maverick Rowan, previously listed as No. 30 in the 2016 class, announced Aug. 2 he would play for the Wolfpack but is reclassifying to 2015.