For the second straight year, a Penn State commit was named Virginia's Gatorade Player of the Year. Five-star linebacker Brandon Smith of Louisa County High School (Mineral, VA) was named as Virginia's winner on Thursday. Last season, running back Ricky Slade won the award.
In his senior season, Smith tallied 135 tackles, five sacks and an astounding nine forced fumbles. Smith committed to Penn State in May, choosing the Nittany Lions over Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama and Notre Dame. On Jan. 3, Smith will play in the Under Armour All-America Game at 6 p.m. EST on ESPN2. He'll report directly to State College following the game as one of James Franklin's early enrollees.