In his Signing Day press conference this past Wednesday, Penn State coach James Franklin said that the Nittany Lions would be losing some “big-time linebackers.”
Some speculated that junior linebacker Brandon Smith would be declaring for the NFL Draft. That speculation turned out to be accurate.
Smith announced in a tweet Friday that he’ll be skipping the Outback Bowl against Arkansas and declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft.
Smith, who appeared in Todd McShay’s top 32 prospects, was second on the team with 81 tackles. He appeared in all 13 games as a freshman in 2019 and became a regular starter in 2020.
“To my teammates, I want to thank you all for all the memories we’ve had, and I appreciate you all for believing in me while we battled on the field,” Smith’s statement read. “You are all my brothers, and I’m always a call or message away. To Coach Franklin and my coaches, thank you all for taking a chance on someone from Louisa, a small town in Virginia where almost nobody gets out and is given the opportunity to do what I’ve been able to do at Penn State.”
Smith said that, although his Penn State career is over, he’ll “continue to work hard and do my best to represent my school and my family to the best of my ability on and off the field.”
“We are Penn State. Thank you for the many memories and smiles, and I am thankful for my time here.”