Brandon Smith is one of the unsung heroes of Penn State football. A walk on, Brandon redshirted as a freshman in 2013, and did not see any playing time in 2014. It wasn’t until 2015 that Smith saw the field, appearing in three games. Even then, he recorded just one total tackle on the year.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Brandon was called on. The injury bug came after the linebacking unit hard, requiring some heretofore unknown players to step up. Brandon filled in the middle linebacker spot more than ably when Jason Cabinda was injured. Throughout the season, Smith recorded 54 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, and 0.5 sacks to go along with 2 interceptions, and 2 passes defensed.
2017 was Brandon’s swan song, as he had cemented himself in the linebacking rotation. He appeared in all 13 games, and logged four starts. His quality defensive production stayed consistent, capped off by recovering a fumble on Washington’s final offensive play of the Fiesta Bowl, securing the Nittany Lions’ win. Degree in hand, Smith departed the team after the bowl win, his eligibility exhausted.
Only 47 days to go!