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Brandon Smith Declares For NFL Draft, Will Opt Out of Outback Bowl

The Junior linebacker will forego his senior season in search of his NFL draft dreams.

Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Brandon Smith (12) and safety Jaquan Brisker (1) against the Illinois Fighting Illini during the second half at Beaver Stadium. Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State had been quiet in the opt out department, but the floodgates may be about to open. The first of the announcements coming in, as Junior linebacker Brandon Smith has opted out of the Outback Bowl and declared for the NFL draft.

Smith played all three seasons since getting on campus in 2019, and amassed 131 total tackles (68 solo), 19 tackles for loss, six pass deflections, four sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception.

Smith is another one in a long line of linebackers at Penn State, who will hope to hear his name called in the NFL draft int he first two days of the event. Smith’s departure opens the door for another player waiting in the wings, who can now showcase their talents on national television, as the Nittany Lions play out the last game of their season in the Outback Bowl against the Arkansas Razorbacks (who themselves have had their own opt-out news in the departure of Treylon Burks opting out of the bowl as well).

Good luck to Brandon Smith in the draft!