Penn State Recruiting: Elite LB target Brandon Smith will attend Pitt game; updated stats for commits

Brandon Smith-Ray Lewis-Penn State-Pitt-game-attendance

Stay updated as Penn State rises toward the top of the recruiting rankings! Don’t miss the coverage from Tyler Donohue, who brings a decade of experience as a national college football reporter and recruiting department staff member with a Big Ten program. Read his daily notebooks here at 7:20 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Nittany Lions recruiting news.


Prized 2019 prospect Brandon Smith returning to Penn State this Saturday

Brandon Smith became a fairly frequent Happy Valley visitor during the offseason. It won’t take the 4-star recruit long to his way back to town this fall, either.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound prospect will spend Saturday in State College, according to his father. Rico Smith explained the family will be in attendance when Penn State hosts Pitt.

“We are looking forward to our first game there,” Rico told Land of 10 on Wednesday afternoon.

Brandon, considered the No. 6 weakside defensive end in 247Sports 2019 composite rankings, is a junior at Louisa County (Mineral, Va.) High School. His quickness and length — wingspan reaches the 6-9 range — make him a candidate to make impact across the defensive front seven, as comparisons during my discussions with coaches have included Alabama linebacker Ben Davis and No. 1 overall 2014 NFL Draft pick Jadeveon Clowney.

Smith recorded 75 tackles — 17 for loss — along with 10 sacks and 3 forced fumbles as a sophomore. He already holds an invitation to the Under Armour All-America Game and earned MVP honors at Ray Lewis’ latest linebacker camp in Florida.

Check out his 2016 season highlights here:

The Nittany Lions extended an offer to Smith in April during his second campus visit. He returned to State College in mid-July for Lasch Bash festivities and a Penn State camp, where he worked with linebackers.

Smith was joined then by his parents, younger brother, two uncles and grandparents.

“They got a chance to see what I like so much about PSU,” he said afterward.

His offer sheet continued to swell this summer, as Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State joined a collection of contenders that already included schools such as Florida State, Notre Dame and Tennessee. Despite an increasingly crowded recruitment, Rico said this summer he expects Penn State to be a long-term option as Smith trims his list of choices.

The Smith family has been on the move for a while now, as Brandon stopped by Alabama, Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Tennessee this summer. He attended the Alabama-Florida State matchup last Saturday in Atlanta.

Nittany Lions staff in contact with mother of 4-star DT Rick Sandidge

Penn State is seemingly finished at defensive tackle in the 2018 recruiting cycle, as commits Judge Culpepper, Aeneas Hawkins and PJ Mustipher are each expected to land along the defensive interior. However, a Monday evening tweet from Keshia Sandidge, the mother of 4-star DT Rick Sandidge, may suggest otherwise.

Sandidge, a senior at Concord (N.C.) High, is listed 11th among prospects at the position in 247Sports 2018 composite rankings. He holds more than 20 offers, including one that arrived from Penn State during his sophomore year.

The 6-5, 288-pound lineman surely commands daily attention from college coaches. According to her social media post, his mother, at least, spent some time speaking with a pair of Nittany Lions assistants earlier this week: defensive recruiting coordinator Terry Smith and defensive line coach Sean Spencer.

Sandidge is a unanimous pick to sign with South Carolina in the 247Sports Crystal Ball.

2018 Penn State commitment stat tracker: Week 1

Each Wednesday, we’ll provide updated season statistics for various Nittany Lions commits. Though not all 2018 recruits have started their senior campaign yet, below is a review of the production so far for a few future Penn State players, along with video highlights.

Statistics obtained firsthand or courtesy of MaxPreps unless otherwise noted.

WR Shaquon Anderson-Butts

High School: Harrisburg (Pa.)

Team Record: 2-0

Last Week: 1 reception, 18 yards, 1 touchdown in a 35-0 win against McDevitt

Season Stats: 4 receptions, 77 yards, 2 touchdowns

*Week 2 stats according to Eric Epler of Penn Live.

DL Judge Culpepper

High School: Plant (Tampa, Fla.)

Team Record: 2-0

Last Week: 7 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack in a 41-16 win against Robinson

Season Stats: 15 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks

 WR Daniel George

High School: Oxon Hill (Md.)

Team Record: 0-1

Last Week: 5 receptions, 55 yards, 5 tackles, 1 interception in a 35-32 loss to Chopticon

Season Stats: 5 receptions, 55 yards, 5 tackles, 1 interception

S Isaiah Humphries

High School: Sachse (Texas)

Team Record: 1-0

Last Week: 4 tackles, 2 interceptions in a 48-6 win against Byron Nelson

Season Stats: 4 tackles, 2 interceptions

TE Zack Kuntz

High School: Camp Hill (Pa.)

Team Record: 1-1

Last Week: 9 receptions, 209 yards, 2 touchdowns in 21-14 win against Lancaster Catholic

Season Stats: 9 receptions, 209 yards, 2 touchdowns

*Week 2 stats according to Lancaster Online.

CB Jordan Miner

High School: Wiregrass Ranch (Zephyrhills, Fla.)

Team Record: 2-0 

Last Week: 67 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 12 receiving yards, 4 tackles, 1 interception, 1 pass breakup in 14-7 win against Wesley Chapel

Season Stats: 8 tackles, 3 pass breakups, 2 interceptions, 74 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown

DT PJ Mustipher

High School: McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.)

Team Record: 1-0

Last Week: 10 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks in a 21-9 win against La Salle College High (Philadelphia)

Season Stats: 10 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks

*Week 1 stats according to Sean Fitz of 247Sports

K Jake Pinegar

High School: Centennial (Ankeny, Iowa)

Team Record: 1-1

Last Week: 4 receptions, 97 yards, 58-yard field-goal miss, 3 of 3 on extra point attempts in a 21-0 win against Ankeny

Stats: 2 of 5 on field-goal attempts, season long of 50 yards, 3 of 3 on extra point attempts

*Week 2 stats according to Dan Holm of The Des Moines Register.

RB Ricky Slade

High School: C.D. Hylton (Woodbridge, Va.)

Team Record: 1-0

Last Week: Bye week

Season Stats: 189 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns

*Week 1 stats according to Inside NOVA.

The post Penn State Recruiting: Elite LB target Brandon Smith will attend Pitt game; updated stats for commits appeared first on Land of 10.

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