With four recruits committing to Penn State over the weekend, NittanyNation decided to turn to the people who know best what they’re capable of on the field -- their high school coaches.
NittanyNation polled those coaches about what separates each player, how they first noticed the player’s ability, and when the player especially showcased his college potential. A different commit will be highlighted in each of the next four days.
Up today: Anthony Smith, Wayne (Pa.) Valley Forge Military
6-foot-1, 180 pounds
Postgraduate school coach (quoted below): Josh Sands
What separates him from others at his position: "I think it's size. He's 6-1, 185 pounds, and he can move pretty well. He's a decent student overall, and he's an early enrollee for them, which is a little different than if he was coming from a juco or another school. He's got all four years of eligibility left still, and he likes to hit."
When you first knew he would be something special: "Kind of during camp, I realized. We came into camp with one quarterback, and he said he'd take reps as a quarterback just as a backup so our QB didn't throw his arm out. I knew then he'd be a good guy for our team. And then our QB went down the first series of our first game, and he played both ways the whole year.
"With Anthony, he came in saying, 'I want to play corner' and he stepped up during the season and did a good job with us. He was always on time to meetings and practices. But when he said he'd be the backup quarterback, that's when I realized. And he was even the long-snapper."
When he surprised you or really showcased his ability: "I saw his ability more as a quarterback just because he stepped in and played for us. There were a couple games where we were down, probably it was against Polytechnic Prep, and there were a couple times he had to scramble and he'd run downfield and get us a couple legit first downs just with his ability to run the ball. He had three or four interceptions this year and we played only about eight games this year because of cancellations. He's definitely a gamer."