Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Penn State Nittany Lions [Print without images]

Friday, November 30, 2012
Penn State then Rutgers for Thadd Smith

By Jared Shanker

Thadd Smith (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O’Hara) admits it could have been made better if Rutgers pulled out the win Thursday and clinched its first BCS bowl in school history, but he’ll settle for taking in two of the better atmospheres of the college football season this year.

Smith was at Rutgers for its game against Louisville on Thursday, just a few days after watching Penn State defeat Wisconsin in the season finale in overtime.

“The RU game was very good. I had lots of fun,” Smith said. “I’m mad they didn’t pull out the win, but they kept on fighting until the end.

Smith, who has a Rutgers offer, spoke with his recruiting coach at Rutgers, Norries Wilson, while on the visit. Wilson talked to Smith about his junior highlight tape, pointing out things he did like and things he wanted to see Smith get better at.

“He was happy that I’m there and [Wilson said they] like what I’m good at and what I need to improve on,” Smith said, “so I’m going to work on them things to get better.”

While at Penn State on Saturday, Smith spoke with Lions freshman Deion Barnes, who played on Smith’s Little League football team growing up in North Philadelphia. He also talked with senior linebacker Michael Mauti, who missed the game but was honored by the team with his number 42 painted on each player’s helmet.

“The players were real cool. I talked to some of the kids I knew before they played at Penn State and they all just reinforced how great Penn State’s program is,” Smith said. “My teammate and I also went up and met Michael Mauti and he was a really cool guy. The players treated us as if we were already on the team.”

Connecticut, Duke, Michigan State and Northwestern have stopped by Cardinal O’Hara recently to get some more information on Smith, who also has an offer from Temple. The Owls will be in to see him Monday.