MINERAL — Brandon Smith will leave for Penn State next month to begin his journey as a Division I college football player.
The Louisa County linebacker’s presence on the high school gridiron has not been forgotten. On Thursday morning, he was named Virginia State Gatorade Player of the Year.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound linebacker joins former St Anne’s-Belfield standout Chris Long as the only Central Virginia player to win the prestigious award. Long won the award in 2003-04 season and went on to play collegiately at the University of Virginia and win two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.
Smith was nothing short of sensational for the Lions this season. He led the team with 135 tackles, 14 quarterback pressures and five sacks as Louisa County won the Jefferson District and reached the second round of the Class 4 Region B playoffs. He also forced nine fumbles and broke up three passes as he took home first team all-state honors.
He is ranked as the No. 14 recruit in the country in the Class of 2019 by 247Sports.com and has been selected to play in the 2019 Under Armour All-American Game next month in Florida.
In the classroom, he maintained a 3.30 grade point average and was a fixture in the community. He served as an elementary school mentor and volunteered locally on behalf of youth sports programs.
Smith joins former C.D. Hylton running back and future Nittany Lion teammate Ricky Slade, Lamont Atkins (Lake Braddock), Wayne Davis (Lake Taylor), Noah Reimers (Tuscarora) and Andrew Brown (Oscar Smith) as the most recent winners of this award.
John Harvey covers Central Virginia high school sports for The Daily Progress and CVille Varsity. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 978-7250. Follow him on Twitter at @