West Virginia adds 3-star JUCO commit who formerly played at Ohio State

Welcome to our weekly wrapup of everything happening with West Virginia recruiting. In this edition, we discuss the Mountaineers’ newest commit in the Class of 2018.  

West Virginia added a commitment from a prized defensive  back for the second time in two weeks with a history at one of the nation’s top programs.

247 Sports.com’s Chris Anderson reports that safety Joshua Norwood arrives from Northwest Mississippi Community College after committing to the Mountaineers on Thursday.

Norwood originally committed to Ohio State after he finished high school in Valdosta, Ga. He comes from the same high school that produced current West Virginia recruit Jayce Rogers.

After becoming buried on the Buckeyes’ depth chart in spring football practice this year, Norwood elected to transfer from Coach Urban Meyer’s program. Norwood was ranked as the No. 49 cornerback and the No. 498 overall recruit in the country in the 2015 class, per the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Earlier this year, Tim May of the the Columbus Dispatch reported that Norwood was believed to be headed to Georgia Southern from Ohio State before heading to junior college.

Buried on Buckeyes’ depth chart

Norwood was a member of the 2015 recruiting cycle, redshirting as a freshman. He played in 11 games for the Buckeyes in 2016 and primarily contributed as a special teams member in 2016 with eight tackles.

Originally, he committed to Ohio State over other offers from Cincinnati, Minnesota and Duke.

But he never got a foothold with the Buckeyes as they replaced three starters in the secondary during their spring drills before  the season. At the same time, the Buckeyes upgraded their talent with five early enrollees and a junior-college transfer among the defensive backs on the roster.

Those changes came for them after the Buckeyes’ humiliating 31-0 loss to Clemson in the CFP semifinals in January.

It pushed Norwood to junior college where he apparently impressed West Virginia assistant Joe Wickline, who scouted Northwest Mississippi during the Mountaineers’ off week.

With West Virginia, he will be reunited with Rogers, a cornerback in West Virginia’s recruiting class of 2018.

Dana Holgorsen’s program over the years has been productive over the years with transfer JUCO cornerbacks. It would appear that Norwood would fit that prototype  for a program that needs an infusion of talent at the position.

He becomes the second commitment for the Mountaineers in two weeks. Rangy Butler (Kan.) Community College safety prospect Charlie Benson hooked up with West Virginia last week.

In the Big 12, schools never can seem to attract enough quality defensive backs for their roster. The two new additions should be a boon for the Mountaineers from that respect.

Where West Virginia’s class ranks

The addition of Norwood is the Mountaineers’ second addition in as many weeks as the 18th member of their class. West Virginia remains at 37th nationally on the 247Sports composite rankings. It ranks sixth among Big 12 programs.

Latest news

A huge game Saturday against Texas Tech will provide Holgorsen’s staff with a prime opportunity to woo several key recruits to boost their 2019 and 2020 classes.

247 Sports.com reports among the notable players are four-star offensive lineman Ryan Jacobs of Mentor, Ohio, who received his first Power 5 offer from the Mountaineers.

Four-star wide receiver Mike Wyman of Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley also will be there  along with 3-star safeties Jayvon Thrift and MJ Devonshire.

Wyman is particularly notable as a member of the Class of 2020. The Mountaineers’ explosive offense has proven to be attractive for a prospect receiving wide interest from schools across the ACC, Big Ten and SEC.

Offers by the numbers

Reported offers: 275
5-star offers: 8
4-star offers: 84
In-state recruits offered: 2
Texas recruits offered: 20
Georgia recruits offered: 54
Florida recruits offered: 49
Ohio recruits offered: 23
Pennsylvania recruits offered: 23


DE Dante Stills, 4 stars, Fairmont, W.Va.

ATH Leddie Brown, 3 stars, Neumann Goretti (Philadelphia)

T Oyenmwen Uzebu, 3 stars, Alpharetta, Ga.

TE Mike O’Laughlin, 3 stars, Fenwick (Oak Park, Ill.)

QB Woodrow Lowe III, 3 stars, Central (Bolivar, Tenn.)

WR Sam Jones, 3 stars, Richmond Hill, Ga.

WR Bryce Wheaton, 3 stars, Holly Springs, N.C.

G Briason Mays, 3 stars, Central (Bolivar, Tenn.)

DT James Gmiter, 3 stars, Bethel Park, Pa.

WR Ralph Davis, 3 stars, North Shore (Houston)

DE Alex Williams, 3 stars, North (Pickerington, Ohio)

WR Randy Fields, 3 stars, St. Frances Academy (Baltimore)

CB Jayce Rogers, 3 stars, Valdosta, Ga.

DT Tyrese Allen, 3 stars, Paintsville, Ky.

TE TJ Ivy, 3 stars, Marist (Chicago)

OLB Josh Chandler, 3 stars, McKinley (Canton, Ohio)

S Charlie Benton, 3 stars, Butler CC (Opelika, Ala.)

CB  Joshua Norwood, 3 stars, Northwest Mississippi CC (Valdosta, Ga.)

5 top uncommitted targets

4-star S Kwantel Raines, Aliquippa, Pa.

West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson loves physical hitters such as Raines patrolling in his secondary. The Mountaineers will face a big challenge from a crowded cast of suitors including Pittsburgh, Penn State, Kentucky and Florida. He pushed back his official visit to Oct. 28, but still could show at Morgantown this weekend.

3-star G Blaine Scott, Sciotoville (Portsmouth, Ohio)

West Virginia needs more imposing types in the trenches. But so do a lot of other teams, most notably Ole Miss and Cincinnati, who are in the battle for Scott. The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder likes what he saw earlier this season on an unofficial visit and plans another one Saturday when Texas  Tech visits.

4-star LB Zakoby McClain, Valdosta, Ga.

After a recent recruiting visit, the Mountaineers appear to be the top choice of this sideline-to-sideline playmaker whose skills would be showcase in the wide-open Big 12. South Carolina has emerged as the leading candidate after he earlier flirted with LSU and Alabama. Other contenders include Cincinnati and Coastal Carolina.

3-star DE T.J. Banks, East Allegheny (North Versailles, Pa.)

Weak-side defensive ends always are at a premium. The Mountaineers are considered among the favorites for Banks in a crowded chase that includes Illinois, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Temple. Central Florida has emerged of late after Banks visited last weekend. He is expected to make his announcement on Oct. 18.

3-star DE Luke Tenuta, Western Albermarle (Crozet, Va.)

The 6-foot-7, 270-pounder told 247 Sports.com he doesn’t plan on making an official visit to West Virginia. But that doesn’t mean the staff  has given up on adding another massive pass rusher. The Mountaineers are among his top three list of potential choices along with North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

Position breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of the number of commits by position and how many are projected to be signed in the class:

QB: 1/1 (Lowe)
RB: 0/1
TE: 2/2 (O’Laughlin, Ivy)
OL: 2/4 (Uzebu, Mays)
WR: 4/5 (Jones, Wheaton, Davis, Fields)
DL: 4/4 (Stills, Gmiter, Williams, Allen)
ILB: 0/1
OLB: 1/1 (Chandler)
CB: 2/3 (Rogers, Norwood)
S: 1/1 (Benton)
ATH: 1/1 (Brown)

Geographical breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of West Virginia commits by state:

Georgia: 4 (Uzebu, Jones, Rogers, Norwood)

Illinois: 2 (O’Laughlin, Ivy)

Ohio 2: (Wiliams, Chandler)

Pennsylvania: 2 (Brown, Gmiter)

Tennessee: 2 (Lowe, Mays)

Kentucky: 1 (Allen)

Kansas: 1 (Benton)

Maryland: 1 (Fields)

North Carolina: 1 (Wheaton)

Texas: 1 (Davis)

West Virginia: 1 (Stills)

Miss a previous edition? Find a our weekly West Virginia recruiting update here each week.

The post West Virginia adds 3-star JUCO commit who formerly played at Ohio State appeared first on Diehards.

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