The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Smith released his top 12 schools Friday, and the Hokies were in a group that included Rutgers, Connecticut, Syracuse, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Illinois, Michigan State and UCLA.
"Virginia Tech made the list by me talking to (receivers) coach (Kevin) Sherman a lot, sending me emails and messaging with me and building a relationship," Smith said. "Their facilities are nice and they have a good program."
A number of criteria went into Smith trimming his list to a top 12 -- Miami and Auburn could also enter the list since each school has begun to recruit him harder -- and he shared those with Scout.com.
"There was a common theme," Smith said. "Just being consistent with all the coaches, building a relationship with them and facility-wise. There are some schools I haven't visited yet, but I've been on the internet looking and their facilities are nice, the fan base, they all have the potential to win a national championship."
Smith said he could eliminate more schools by the start of his season. If not, he would cut the list by the midway points of the fall.
He added he plans to make a few unofficial visits to schools during the season, when time is available, but has not set up any official visits.
However, there is one school Smith said he will make an official visit to see.
"I know I'm going to go to UCLA for sure," he said. "I know I'm going to try and get up to a couple of games and see things. The others will be something I play by ear."
Despite trimming his list, Smith does not hold anyone in higher regard than another school.
"I'm still wide open and still looking at other things," he said. "Miami is coming in the picture now. Auburn is coming in the picture now. The list is subject to change, but for now that's the Top 12."