Penn State's Adrian Amos leads trio of local contributors against Maryland

Matt Zenitz
Contact ReporterBaltimore Sun Media Group
Calvert Hall grad Adrian Amos has grown into a star safety for Penn State.

Calvert Hall football coach Donald Davis spoke to Adrian Amos the day before the start of this year's NFL draft.

"I told him, 'If you do what you're supposed to do and stay the course, a year from right now, we're all going to be geared up for you to have a huge day,'" Davis said.

Amos, a Penn State senior who played under Davis at Calvert Hall, is one of three players from Baltimore County who could play a key role when Maryland faces the Nittany Lions Saturday in State College, Pa.

Donovan Smith (Owings Mills) is Penn State's starting left tackle. Trevor Williams (Calvert Hall) is a starting cornerback. Amos is a starting safety.

After being lightly recruited at Calvert Hall, Amos has been a full-time starter for Penn State since his sophomore season in 2012 and is projected by NFLDraftScout.com to be a fourth or fifth round pick next year.

The son of a Baltimore City police officer, Amos orally committed to play at Connecticut under current Maryland coach Randy Edsall. Amos chose to play at Penn State after Edsall left for Maryland.

"Adrian is a good kid," Edsall said. "When I was at Connecticut, [I] really thought he was an outstanding player, and it's proved out that he is an outstanding player. You can see that he's worked very, very hard, and he's playing at a very high level."

Amos arrived at Calvert Hall in 2007 measuring in at just 5 feet 3 and 140 pounds. He grew to 6 feet, 195 pounds by the time he finished at Calvert Hall in 2011 and was up to 210 pounds entering this season.

"I had a guy ask me the other day, 'Was he one of these kids when he was a freshman and you first got him that you knew he would end up being an NFL player?'" Davis said. "'And I was thinking, 'When he was a freshman, he was 5-3, 140 pounds. Hell, no, I didn't think he was an NFL player when I saw him.

"Then he just grew and grew and grew into the thing that he is now — a freakin' action figure is what he is now."

Amos was one of just four true freshmen to see playing time for Penn State in 2011 and then took over a starting cornerback job as a sophomore. He played both cornerback and safety as a junior last year, and he has 20 tackles, a tackle for a loss and two interceptions in seven starts at safety this season.

Amos has been an honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection each of the last two seasons. He had 44 tackles and two interceptions as a sophomore and had 50 tackles, including four tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, five pass breakups and an interception last season.

"He's got some of the best range you can imagine," Davis said of Amos, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds during Penn State's spring testing. "Really think about this. He can play all four positions in the secondary. He can play like a field corner because he's a great cover guy. He can play in the boundary because he'll hit you. He can play over the top at safety, and he can play strong safety. You can move him down in the box. So he's really got a full complement of tools at the position."

Williams signed with Penn State as a wide receiver and had 10 catches for 97 yards as a freshman in 2012 before switching to cornerback during the spring of 2013.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Williams has started 13 games the last two years, including all seven this season.

Williams had 24 tackles, 10 passes defended and two interceptions last year and has 16 tackles and two interceptions this season. He was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after intercepting two passes to help lead Penn State to a 13-10 win over Rutgers on Sept. 13.

Smith, like Amos, was a part of Penn State's 2011 recruiting class and has been the Nittany Lions' starting left tackle since redshirting as a true freshman.

The 6-foot-5 Smith has grown to 335 pounds after weighing around 270 pounds as a senior at Owings Mills in 2010 and was a preseason All-Big Ten first-team selection by USA Today and Lindy's heading into this season.

Now, all three players get the opportunity to square off against their home school.

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