Coach Speak: Joshua Norwood

BuckeyeSports.com's Coach Speak series featuring Ohio State commitments from the class of 2015 continues with Rance Gillespie, the coach of Valdosta, Ga., three-star cornerback Joshua Norwood.

Rance Gillespie, the head coach at Valdosta High School, spoke with BuckeyeSports.com about Ohio State commit and 2015 three-star cornerback Joshua Norwood.

When you see him on the field, what stands out to you?
What makes him a special player is his ability to always seem to make the right decision. A lot of time with DBs, you say, ‘Aw, I wish you wouldn’t have undercut that, I wish you would have stayed over the top, I wish you would have jumped or I wish you wouldn’t have jumped.’ But Joshua always seems to make the right decision in those situations.

How have you seen him improve over his high school career?
I’ve been here for five years so I’ve had the opportunity to see him come through as an eighth-grader, ninth-grader, tenth-grader. It’s been fun to watch him nature and grow. He’s a guy that’s just really invested into his God-given ability and has made the most of it.

Do you think he might be overlooked because he didn’t attend many camps?
We’re different here. We don’t get into the circus surrounding recruiting. Our kids really don’t, and we’ve been fortunate with that. I think a large part should be attributed to our tradition here. We understand that with winning, good things happen for individuals and good things happen for the team. Certainly Josh is an example of that.

When did you know you had a Division I prospect on your hands?
Coming out of spring I thought he would be a Division I guy, but I didn’t know what level. And then after the first couple of games this season, I knew the kid could play anywhere in the country. We feel like Ohio State is one of the most prestigious football programs in the entire country. If I’m not mistaken, he will be the first kid from Valdosta to play at Ohio State and we’re extremely proud of that.

What about those first couple of games made you think that?
He had a couple of interceptions that were just incredible, and the kid just plays with a different motor. He was just making plays.

Have you spoken with OSU coaches about what they like about him?
Of course I’ve had interaction with the coaches. As far as what the coaching staff liked about him, they like that he jumps out at you when you watch him. You turn on film and he’s the best player on the field. The guy just makes plays. Those are the type of comments that I got all the time during the recruiting process. As far as the way they’ll use him, we really don’t get into that. That’s for them to decide.

What about Ohio State stood out to Josh?
With Ohio State, it’s obviously a very prestigious institution from the academic side. Josh really felt a bond with the coach that was recruiting him and he liked the guys he was able to meet on his visit. All those things checked out, and he came back and said he really liked it. Of course the prestigious football doesn’t hurt either, so it’s going to be a great fit for him.

How would you describe his personality on and off the field?
He’s a great guy to be around. We have some kids that – as many teenagers are – can be a little bit more difficult to talk to. Josh is really easy to talk to. He’s a guy that you can talk to and who will listen. He’s intelligent enough to know that he’s still a teenager and doesn’t have everything figured out, and I think that takes a lot of wisdom from a kid that age to admit that.

Is there anything Ohio State fans should know about him?
They’re getting a great kid. They’re getting a kid that’s going to give 110 percent to that university and, I know they’ll be proud to have him representing them on that field.

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