Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 223 pounds
Hometown/High School: Mineral, VA (Louisa County)
Ranking: ★★★★★ (0.9861 — No. 30 overall)
Notable Offers: Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas A&M
The Nittany Lions were one of the first teams to offer Smith, extending an offer to him during the spring of his sophomore season. As it turns out, that was a pretty freaking good idea as Smith quickly became one of the elite linebackers in the country, eventually picking up offers from just about every school in the nation.
Due to that early relationship, Smith became a frequent face in Happy Valley, visiting multiple times within the last year. He was most recently up for a spring practice on April 7th, which came on the heels of visits to Ohio State, Michigan, and Notre Dame. It was following those visits when it became clear that unless something drastic happened, Penn State was the likely choice for Smith.
Smith took one final visit — an official to Texas A&M over the weekend of April 20th — but the Aggies were always viewed as long shots due to distance. From there, Smith would wait a month before deciding that he had seen all he needed to. He set up an announcement ceremony for today, May 21st, when he announced his commitment to Penn State.
From the May 14th B&H:
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.
The outlook is that Brandon Smith is going to suplex every Big Ten running back into oblivion.
Welcome to THE Linebacker U, Brandon!