Ever since Ohio State missed out on Jordan Whitehead, who decided to stay closer to home and play his college ball for Pittsburgh, the Ohio State staff were left to find another aspiring shutdown cornerback to teammate up with Jamel Dean, Denzel Ward, and Carlton Davis in the 2015 class.
Late last night, OSU did just that by landing a verbal commitment from three-star prospect Joshua Norwood. Before deciding on the Buckeyes, the underrated defensive back was once headed to Cincinnati but decommitted from the Bearcats just days before his official visit to Ohio State last weekend.
While some might not be impressed with his rankings on recruiting sites, the 5'10, 175-pound Norwood looks to be a diamond in the rough. A hard-nosed, in your face type of cornerback, the Valdosta, GA native isn't afraid to come up and lay the wood.
Not just a big hitter, Norwood also displays solid speed and cover skills playing in the secondary for Valdosta High, one of the top schools in the talent rich state of Georgia.
With the probability of there being at least five or six cornerbacks ahead of him on the depth chart when he arrives at Ohio State next year, Norwood could be in line for a redshirt season during his first year in the scarlet and gray. Unless he can crack the lineup as a gunner on special teams, a redshirt year would give Norwood time to learn the OSU playbook and fully grasp the college game by going up against J.T. Barrett, Michael Thomas, and the first team offense as a member of the scout team defense everyday during practice.
The 20th senior to give Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes a verbal commit so far this recruiting process, like Torrance Gibson, Norwood's pledge could end up helping Ohio State not only on the football field, but also on the recruiting trail. Like a lot of programs, the Buckeyes are trying to plant flags all over the southern states, with Georgia being one of their main targets.
Adding another Peach State prospect like Norwood to the fold could entice even more of the state's top prospects to give Ohio State a serious look instead of continuing their careers at programs in the SEC and ACC.
After a huge jump up the charts earlier this week, Norwood now has the Buckeyes just a few points shy of taking over the seventh spot in the 247Sports class of 2015 team recruiting rankings from the Gamecocks of South Carolina.