Both missions were accomplished.
Smith, a 6-foot-1, 186-pound post-graduate cornerback originally from Pope John XXIII (Sparta, N.J.) received a scholarship offer from Penn State at the beginning of his official visit weekend, and committed at the end of it.
"I was a quick decision," Smith said. "It took me a day of talking to my dad and family and going over things. It was a pretty easy decision on my part. I like everything about the school, the community, and the coaching staff is great. The fan base is great.
"Everything is great about the school."
Smith will enroll in January, and he hopes to compete for playing time in the fall.
"They were looking for cornerback sand since I'm a mid-year guy, it's good for me to come in January and get acclimated and get things running quickly," Smith said. "(Penn State) Coach (Bill) O'Brien) said I was what they were looking for."
Smith also had offers from Massachusetts, Towson and Gardner-Webb, but it was Penn State's academic reputation and the way the Nittany Lions performed under incredible adversity this season that led to his decision.
"The thing I really like is how they turned everything around and all the adversity they had and all they went though, and they turned it around and had a great season," Smith said. "I feel like their backs were against the wall and they just produced and came together as one family. That is what I wanted. I wanted to be part of a family, and they have that."
"The kids were great," Smith said. "The commits were great people, and I'm looking forward to playing with them."
Smith, who had no offers out of high school, played cornerback exclusive at Pope John XXIII, but he also played quarterback at Valley Forge. He said the increased action allowed schools to see him in a more extended role, and to evaluate his ability.
"I played quarterback this year and I had film of me doing other things other than just cornerback," Smith said. "At Pope John, they barely threw the ball so there wasn't (much tape)."