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Blessed & Honored: Five-Star LB Brandon Smith Is Ready To Announce

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*Lights match for fireworks*

Brandon Smith

BRANDON SMITH ANNOUNCES DECISION DATE

Five-star Virginia linebacker — and perhaps Penn State’s top overall target — has seen all he needs to see. The 6-foot-4, 223-pound Brandon Smith tweeted out Sunday evening that he’ll be announcing his commitment Monday, May 21 at 5 p.m.

One would say Penn State sits in a strong position for Smith, holding 89% of the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions. Smith was most recently in Happy Valley on April 7, which capped a five-day visit span where he also saw Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Michigan — three of his other contenders. Smith also made an official visit to Texas A&M on April 20, but all signs continue to point toward the Nittany Lions being the decision next Monday.

I have been somewhat critical of Penn State’s linebacker recruiting during James Franklin’s tenure, but I’ll tell you what, landing Brandon Smith would sure make up for some of those gaffes in 2015 and 2016. He’s a 6-foot-4, 223-pound freak who doesn’t play defensive end or safety — he plays linebacker. With his size, athleticism, and instincts, Smith has the makeup of someone who could help linebacker depth immediately.

WORMLEY’S JULY DECISION

Another decision is on the horizon for Penn State, as Delaware three-star OG Saleem Wormley tweeted out over the weekend that he would be making his college announcement in July.

Penn State and Notre Dame appear to be the top two here, with the Fighting Irish getting an official visit on June 15. While the Nittany Lions do still probably hold the edge, the fact that Wormley held off on committing during Blue-White weekend so he could visit South Bend is telling.

VIRGINIA DT OFFERED

With New Jersey DT Antonio Alfano trending toward Alabama, it appears that Penn State is setting its sights on other defensive tackles. One of those tackles being Virginia three-star Ben Smiley, who earned an offer from Penn State last Friday.

Smiley had a solid regional offer list — with a top four of Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia — but with Alabama and Penn State throwing their hats in the ring within the last two weeks, expect Smiley’s list to be shaken up a bit.