Owings Mills (Md.) HS standout Donovan Smith already has to compete at the next level — he's 6-foot-7, and 315 pounds. But just size isn't enough for the Penn State signee – he wants to ensure that he arrives on campus ready to compete.
"I work out a lot," Smith said. "Monday through Thursday, and then I lift Sunday morning."
"He added, "I try to maintain my weight, a good weight – and do a lot of ladder drills and speed drills."
Since committing to the Lions in early January, Smith has been focusing on one thing — getting ready for PSU football.
"I changed my workouts," Smith said. "Before it was more just gaining strength while still being flexible. Now it's high intensity."
Smith has been working hard with one goal in mind.
"They [the coaches] have told me I have a good chance to come in here and compete," said Smith, who was on campus to watch a little spring practice recently. "Compete to be [on the] two deep or even a starter – it just depends on how I am when I get up there.
Smith wants to be able to step right in and help continue the PSU legacy.
"You can't compare the tradition," Smith said. "It's one of a kind. The white helmets, plain blue jerseys."
He continued, "Just playing by that, you have to love it."
After all, that tradition is one of the factors that helped Smith pick the Lions in the first place.
"Between the academics and the tradition at Penn State, and all the players," Smith said. "Just how cool the players are and how sincere the coaching staff is, they all played a part."
Smith has kept in touch with many of the incoming freshman who will be reporting with him to Happy Valley on June 26.
"I am anxious to get to know all of them," Smith said of his future teammates. "Just the fact that we are all coming from different states and have different personalities is cool."
He continued, "I am excited to get together and form that bond and friendship to do well."
Smith has high expectations as he joins Nittany Nation.
"It's going to be something great," Smith said with a chuckle. "It is going to be something great over the next four or five years."
Something great, that starts with dedication like Smith's.