Height/Weight: 6-foot-6, 250 pounds
Hometown/High School: Montvale, NJ (St. Joseph Regional)
Ranking: ★★★ (0.8689 247Sports Composite — No. 679 overall)
Notable Offers: Florida, Florida State, Miami, Oregon, and Pitt
Smith Vilbert was a former basketball prospect who didn’t focus on football until his senior season, so it’s no surprise that his recruitment got off to a bit of a late start. He didn’t land his first major offer until Oregon offered on September 11, just a couple weeks into his senior season. Plenty of offers followed for the Jersey standout, with the Nittany Lions joining the fray on November 2, and other schools like Florida and Florida State shortly thereafter.
Vilbert made three official visits — one to Oregon on November 20, one to Penn State on December 7, and one to Florida on January 11. Following his trip to Gainesville, Vilbert decided he saw all he needed to see, and made the call in favor of the Nittany Lions earlier today.
Underrated get for James Franklin and Sean Spencer here. While Smith Vilbert doesn’t have the four-star rating that the rest of his Penn State 2019 classmates have, he’s a supremely talented kid with ridiculous size and athleticism. Shows a good first step, and has the burst to get after the quarterback. I like how well he already disengages, and coupled with his ability to move laterally, makes him a nice fit as an edge setting defensive end.
He obviously needs a ton of work technique wise, and because of that, a redshirt year should be in store. Let him sit and learn for a year under Sean Spencer, let Dwight Galt add 20 pounds to his frame, and Penn State could have a real player in Vilbert.