DB Jordan Smith dreaming of PSU career

November, 15, 2012
11/15/12
11:00
AM ET
Penn State commit Jordan Smith (Washington, D.C./H.D. Woodson) lies on his bed, stares up at the white ceiling, and daydreams about the Nittany Lions.

At least one day a week, he'll reserve time to just reflect on his future with the Nittany Lions. But, most times, unplanned thoughts flash everywhere -- in class, during training, watching TV, eating dinner.

The defensive back envisions a roaring sea of blue-and-white, fans who scream his name, and teammates who bump his chest after he picks off a pass. He thinks about coaches patting his helmet after forcing a fumble. And the Blue-White Game and his early enrollment constantly come to mind.

"So, what's it feel like knowing you'll be up at Penn State in about two months?" he's asked.

"Well," he said Wednesday night, "less than two months. It's actually one month, three weeks, four days, one hour, 37 minutes, 45 seconds and counting."

Smith installed a countdown on his smartphone, and he can't wait to join Penn State's other defensive backs. He's increased his training, endured a few sleepless nights thinking about PSU and texts his future dorm-mate -- tight end Adam Breneman -- about every other day.

Maybe, the senior wonders, the staff will allow them to upgrade to an apartment so fellow commit Richy Anderson can bunk with them. Maybe he'll immediately cover his entire dorm room in Penn State football mementos.

Smith wonders about everything Penn State, everywhere. Even when he doesn't mean to. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound commit said he'll remember his dreams about twice a week.

"Oh yeah," he said with a laugh. "They're all about Penn State."

When Smith fell asleep Nov. 4, after watching the Chicago Bears' Charles Tillman force four fumbles, he experienced a lucid dream that he stepped out of Beaver Stadium's south tunnel and forced his own four fumbles. Smith can't help it.

And when he's not thinking about playing in front of 110,000 fans -- inside a stadium that could hold more than 1-in-6 Washington D.C. residents -- he's working toward getting on the field early. "Redefine the grind," he called it.

He'll spend at least 20 hours a week training to become a better player. He'll study defensive coverages with former Philadelphia Eagles safety Troy Vincent and train with Stephon Morris' father, Roman. He'll also work out with his own personal trainer and take a pair of 90-minute yoga classes every week.

"I'm getting sorer and sorer," Smith said. "But I always know that I have to work harder than the next man because, even though I'm working out and stuff, that's not enough. Sometimes, I have to go the extra mile."

And whenever those thoughts of Penn State keep him up at night? That's when he really gets busy. He just climbs out of bed, hits the floor and starts doing push-ups. Sometimes, he doesn't stop until his alarm rings and he has to prepare for school.

Two weeks ago, he battled a case of insomnia and estimated his push-up count at about 2,000. The night before the Blue-White Game, he did the same thing.

"I can't go to sleep and I'm up and I'm bored, so that's what I do," he said.

Smith figures to have a few more sleepless nights where he’ll stare up at that white ceiling, maybe glance at a "Burn the Ships" flyer he picked up on a visit, and reflect on just about every possible scenario involving the blue-and-white. Except his jersey number.

"I'm not sure about my number, but that doesn't really matter," he said. "It's just a jersey number.

"It's just that I want to play so bad. I'm always thinking about Penn State."

Josh Moyer | email

Penn State/Big Ten reporter

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