Every week, NittanyNation will pose five questions to a recruit, player, alum or coach about all things Penn State.
This week's subject is Thadd Smith, a 2014 athlete out of Springfield (Pa.) Cardinal O'Hara. Smith is expecting a visit from Penn State assistant Ron Vanderlinden in the next week or two, and Penn State is recruiting him as a slot receiver.
NittanyNation: What surprised you most about the Nittany Lions' season?
Thadd Smith: What surprised me the most about it is they didn't let nothing affect them. They pushed through adversity, and they always found a way to score, score, score and win games. So that was good to see -- their quarterback stayed poised and even the kicker, he stepped up. They just never gave up.
The most surprising player on offense was Allen Robinson. He did real good; he's a beast. He just makes plays.
NN: Where does Penn State stand with you right now?
TS: Well, they're definitely on my list right now. I'm not sure where I really want to go yet, but I'll probably have a decision made next year during my senior season. They're definitely going to be on my list with Bill O'Brien and stuff.
The fan base is crazy, they have great academics, great coaching, great players and a great tradition. They have one of the best offensive coaches; he's done a great job. I talked to him a little bit when I went there to camp.
NN: What are your impressions of O'Brien, and what was he like at camp?
TS: He's very intelligent, and he seems really calm and collected. When he was watching me at camp, he kept telling me to come to the front, so I guess he was interested in me.
And he coached Tom Brady, and he's one of the best quarterbacks. He can get you to the NFL because of who he is. He's a wonderful coach.
NN: Will the sanctions a play a big role in your decision whether or not to play for PSU?
TS: I'd really only be mising one year or two, so it's not a big deal -- as long as I can play. It's about the team, really, and it doesn't matter as long as we're playing good. You see the players that played this year, they still stuck with it and had a great season.
They fought through it, and that's what I like about them. They said we're going to get through this, and they did.
NN: What sticks out to you the most about Penn State?
TS: I like their stadium. It's big, it's awesome, and the fan base is crazy. I went up to the game where they played Wisconsin, and the fans were really welcoming to me. I like how they treated me and how the players made me feel at home , and that fan base was great. It's all about Penn State there; they're there for you.
When I walked out of the tunnel, they were like, "Come to Penn State!" I was just like, "Wow." And when they were warming up, I was looking around and the fans were again like, "Come to Penn State!" So that was cool.