Westlake High School coach Dom Zaccarelli didn't recognize the diminutive young man asking to come out for his football team, but they were already well acquainted.
''He said, 'Coach, I scrimmaged against you. I was No. 2,''' Zaccarelli said.
Then it all came back.
''I didn't remember him. I just remember No. 2 taking a pitch on the first play and going 80 yards. We had track athletes that couldn't run him down,'' Zaccarelli said of the Wolverines' 2007 scrimmage with Eleanor Roosevelt. ''He had three touchdowns in the first half against us, and we weren't that bad. We were 10-2 last year.
''When he first came to get equipment, I was surprised how small he was.''
The guy that played so big against Zaccarelli's team was all of 5-foot-7, 150 pounds. A little thing like height and weight hasn't held Devon Smith back, though.
Last week, Smith became the latest prospect from the fertile Washington, D.C. area prep ranks to commit to play football at Penn State. He is the 18th member of the Nittany Lions' 2009 recruiting class.
''I love the fans, the stadium, the team, the town,'' Smith said. ''They have big stars at wide receiver like Derrick Williams, Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood. I think I can come in and be a playmaker like they are.''
You don't need to convince Zaccarelli. Smith is a big reason why Westlake is off to a 4-1 start this season. He's rushed for 570 yards on just 35 carries and scored seven touchdowns.
''He plays bigger than his measurables,'' Zaccarelli said.
The reason for that is Smith's speed. Rivals.com ranks him as the fastest prospect in the senior class. This spring, he set a new Maryland record by running a 10.42-second 100-meter dash in the semifinals at the state championships.
''My favorite thing is just being in open space and making defenders miss,'' Smith said.
Penn State will attempt to help him get into open space as a return man as well as a slot receiver. Smith said his quickness is an hereditary gift.
''My father [Terrance] was actually faster than me. He didn't even run in high school. I raced him when I was 14, and he beat me,'' Smith, 17, said. ''He can't beat me now.''
Smith wants it clear though: He is a football player that runs track, not a sprinter that plays football.
''I started playing when I was 7. I always had that mentality,'' Smith said. ''I play bigger than my size. I play with my heart.''
Smith's heart has long been in University Park. Smith said he was a Maryland fan at first, then grew to like Penn State and Boston College, as well. He'd been to Penn State for the Nike Combine, and best friend Derrick Thomas let slip that Smith would like to commit when he himself picked Penn State in the spring.
Smith was scheduled to visit Temple this week, but a trip with his parents to Penn State's nationally-televised game against Illinois sealed the deal to the Nittany Lions.
''It was a good experience for me, but especially for my parents. They never went to college and never got to experience anything like that, Smith said.''
Smith said Thomas' commitment and that of another friend and former Eleanor Roosevelt teammate Stephon Morris impacted on his choice of Penn State, although he's happy to have people he knows come in with him. Eleanor Roosevelt is also Williams' alma mater.
In addition to Temple, Smith also had scholarship offers from North Carolina, Akron and Eastern Michigan. Zaccarelli said he thought there weren't more because Smith didn't play as a junior due to a team rule - Zaccarelli doesn't let players come out for the team after the season has started - and colleges were waiting to get recent tape of him.
Not that it mattered.
''I just think,'' Zaccarelli said, ''he always wanted to go to Penn State.''