So Smith won't have a senior season separating his high school days on the gridiron from his college ones. But that doesn't mean he's taking time off from preparing.
Save for Saturday, of course, when the Penn State commit traveled to University Park to watch the Nittany Lions take on Ohio State. Smith will graduate early from Woodson and enroll at PSU in January, and the game against the Buckeyes made him that much more anxious to arrive.
“The atmosphere was absolutely crazy. By far the best football game I have seen in my life,” Smith said enthusiastically. “I could literally feel the ground shaking under my feet. I'm so excited to get up there in January.”
At 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, the two-star defensive back may provide immediate depth to a shallow Penn State secondary. But he's also open to the idea of redshirting if the staff feels that is the best way to start his college career. In the meantime, he continues to train and improve for when the calendar roles over.
“I've been working out on a daily basis, just hitting the track and the weight room every day with my trainer,” Smith said. “I've also been doing a lot of defensive back specific training, and on the academic side, getting ready to figure out what I want to major in.
“Every day I'm just trying to prepare mentally, physically and spiritually so that I'm ready to go,” he added.
Smith's defensive back training comes from a special source. The senior trains weekly with Roman Morris, father of current Penn State defensive back Stephon Morris, and former Philadelphia Eagle standout Troy Vincent. The duo offers a unique combination of playing experience and training.
“I'm just trying to learn as much as I can from Coach Rome and Coach Troy,” Smith said. “These two men have so much knowledge about the game; it's a blessing to be in their program. We do a variety of drills that help us become better and develop so that we can become more effective on the field.”
Schoolmate and Class of 2014 Penn State target D'Andre Payne also made the trip to University Park Saturday with Smith. Smith said Payne came away impressed.
“He loved the atmosphere, and thought it was a great game,” Smith said. “I know he won't make a decision anytime soon, but I know Penn State is still on his list.”
As for Smith, he's ready to get going under the guide of Bill O'Brien and his staff as he finishes his high school academics.
“I can't wait to get up there and start lifting and get going,” Smith said. “I'm very excited.”