Every week, NittanyNation will pose five questions to a recruit, player, alum or coach about PSU and other news.
This week's subject is Rahshaun Smith, a 2016 DE/LB who already boasts six scholarship offers -- including one from Penn State. Smith is 6-foot-3, 230 pounds and just 15 years old. He's already a starter at Towson (Md.) Calvert Hall.
NittanyNation: You're a freshman now, but you started receiving offers before you even set foot in high school. How did that first offer come about, and did it catch you off-guard at all?
Rahshaun Smith: You know, when I got started with the program Next Level Nation -- with my coaches Cory Robinson and Devin Redd -- the first thing they said is that I'm something special and they asked me what my goal was in eighth grade. And I told them I just wanted to go to college. I didn't know anything about big-time schools; I just wanted to go to college. So they talked to me about Division I, Division II. And they said, 'Do you want an offer before you're a freshman?'
And I said, 'Yeah, I want it, Coach.' He told me I got to work. And then Boston College came up here to see Delando Johnson, and he saw me and he's like, 'You're big and can move.' And he liked the way I worked out. So the next week he came back and, after that, he was keeping in contact with my coach. I went to my first camp over the summer at Penn State and I did pretty good. From there, people just started pulling the trigger. My coach told me right after that I got an offer from Boston College.
NN: Do you feel a lot of pressure now to be this dominant player since you already have all these offers? How do you deal with all these coaches coming by already?
RS: You know, before my first offer came, my coach sat me down and talked to me and said that if I stay on the path I'm on, it's going to get crazy. There'll be a lot of calls and fans and stuff. And, ever since then, he's always been by my side. So there's no pressure; he told me what to do.
It doesn't really affect me because I don't think it's hit me yet. I just want to stay humble and hungry -- that's my mentality.
NN: You're pretty familiar with Penn State because a couple of guys you know -- Adrian Amos, Trevor Williams, Da'Quan Davis -- came from your school. What's one thing you like most about Penn State, and one thing about PSU you're not so keen about?
RS: One thing that I really like about Penn State -- I mean, it's a good school overall -- but I definitely like their coaching staff. I just like the way their coaches coach and handle the kids and how they handled the media after what just happened. The one thing I didn't really like is the situation they just went through, but I probably won't base my decision off that.
My first camp I ever went to was Penn State. I went to Maryland twice, Bowling Green and Cincinnati.
NN: You're up to six offers right now. So, at this point, is it just kind of like old news when a a new offer rolls in? And are you already visiting colleges, or is it way too early for that?
RS: I would have to say now that I don't get an adrenaline rush, but I am still thankful that coaches are looking at me. It's always a plus when I get another offer, and it lets me know I have more work to do.
And, you know, I don't want to lean toward one school or another. I'm going to keep my doors open, and I am going to take some unofficial visits. I'll probably take some visits over the summer; we go around to some schools with Next Level Nation. I definitely know that I want to get away from home to go to college because people always told me to get away. Another thing visiting schools is I just want to go where there's a good staff -- and since football's not going to be there forever. I want a good place to study for business and management.
NN: What are your goals for the future? Where do you want to be as a senior?
RS: By my senior year, my goal is to be the No. 1 player in the nation. I tell my coaches that. At first, I just wanted to get a scholarship. But ever since I got that Boston College one, my coach told me I've got to make new goals. So that goal's been there ever since.