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West Virginia Football Recruiting: Mountaineers land former Ohio State defensive back

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West Virginia continues its raid of the JUCO ranks with another former blue chip recruit boasting Buckeye creds.

NCAA Football: Indiana at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia has been nothing but consistently committed to recruiting the JUCO ranks in recent years and that trend doesn’t seem to be winding down. Today the Mountaineers snared another commit from former Ohio State Buckeye turned JUCO player Joshua Norwood. The Georgia product and former four star prospect spent last year at Northwest Mississippi C.C. where he starred at the corner position.

Quotables

Per Chris Anderson at 247sports.com:

“This is exactly what West Virginia needed in this class. The Mountaineers had been scouring the junior college ranks for a cornerback, and I said during a Q+A last week - this coaching staff will find a corner from off the recent radar that will be able to enroll early. They did just that, and I expect Norwood to very much be in the picture for the starting job in the spring.”

So, good news: there won’t be any waiting game associated with Norwood and any of his contributions to the Mountaineer secondary. This is incredibly helpful, considering that West Virginia will be tasked with replacing Mike Daniels, Elijah Battle and Kyzir White going into the 2018 season.

Measurables

Height: 5’ 11’’

Weight: 185 lbs.

Power 5 Offers - Ohio State, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Duke, Purdue

  • 247Sports - 4 stars (#93 nationally)
  • Rivals - 3 stars (#45 nationally)
  • Scout - 3 (#45 nationally)
  • ESPN - 3 (#87 nationally)

The Smoking Musket Analysis

In Two Words - if you have to remember just two things about this player...

  • Long
  • Intuitive

Absurd Comparisons

While Norwood is listed at just a shade under 6’0”, his frame and his ability to read/react to plays, especially out of press coverage, will remind some of you of former star corner Daryl Worley. Most scouting/recruiting sites have him listed as a 4.5 guy in terms of straight line speed, but he was documented back during his initial recruitment out of powerhouse Valdosta high as being a very fluid, very smooth athlete. Sounds as if he has the raw ingredients to be another solid corner in Tony Gibson’s secondary, to me.

Scheme Fit

Again, length and football IQ aid a corner far more, perhaps, than just being able to run fast in a straight line. Norwood seems to possess both and has only fine tuned them over the course of his collegiate career. He’s best suited to play corner rather than safety in Gibson’s Pond Fork Defense given that his length and his ability to adjust mid-run makes him a good foil to the slew of fleet-footed receivers he’ll encounter in Big 12 play.

Impact on Other Prospects?

Norwood may be a notable get, but don’t expect recruiting in the secondary to slow down. There will be holes to fill this upcoming off-season and if depth is important at any level of the defense, its in the secondary which puts extra miles on their tires throughout the year. West Virginia will likely take at least two more secondary players this recruiting cycle to account for losing three upperclassmen to the draft and/or graduation. Make no mistake, though, Norwood brings great pedigree to the table and can make an immediate impact next season.