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Penn State Football All 105

Penn State All 105: The Tank

Penn State Nittany Lions running back Tank Smith (38) November 12, 2022 David Hague/NSN

All 105 is a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State football player. This edition will look at walk-on HB Tank Smith.

Height: 5-foot-7

Weight: 222 pounds

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Before Penn State: The nephew of PSU Associate Head Coach Terry Smith, Tank Smith walked-on to his uncle’s alma mater after a season at St. Francis University and a successful career at Penn Hills High School in the Pittsburgh area. Along with fellow Penn State player Daequan Hardy, Tank Smith was a key member of Penn Hills’s 2018 state championship team. He ended that year with more than 2,000 yards of total offense and scored 26 touchdowns. He also set the school rushing record.

2020: Smith made his PSU debut in the season finale against Illinois, picking up a seven-yard rush.

2021: Smith played in three of Penn State’s 13 games, picking up a career-high three carries against Rutgers on Senior Day.

2022: Smith was thrust into a somewhat important role during his third season at Penn State. With Devyn Ford leaving the team and Keyvone Lee battling an injury, Smith became Penn State’s third string running back. The team didn’t need him much thanks to Nick Singleton (1,061 yards, 12 touchdowns, 156 carries) and Kaytron Allen (867 yards, 10 touchdowns, 167 carries). Smith ended the season with 61 yards on 23 carries in seven games, and was the team’s Outstanding Run-on along with Dominic DeLuca.

Where he stands: There probably isn’t a deeper position group on Penn State’s team than they running backs. Singleton and Allen are back, and Penn State added former Minnesota Golden Gopher Trey Potts through the transfer portal this spring. The team also has true freshmen in four-star London Montgomery (Scranton, Pennsylvania) and three-star Cam Wallace (Mt. Vernon, Georgia) in the fold. So Smith probably won’t be needed much on game days, but his experience will be invaluable.

A quote about Smith: “Don’t count him out. He was ready to go, he wanted to go. He may not be a scholarship guy, but he’s a damn good player.” – Former Penn State QB Sean Clifford on Smith after the team’s win over Northwestern last October.

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