Versatile Norwell Glad To Be A Buckeye

Ohio State landed a big verbal commitment during the month of February when Cincinnati Anderson offensive tackle Andrew Norwell became a member of the school's class of 2010. Now that the dust has settled, Norwell speaks about life after his commitment, his goals for the summer and the five D's.

Andrew Norwell is a versatile athlete.

In addition to holding down his ranking as the No. 5 overall prospect in the country as judged by, the five-star prospect grew up with aspirations of superstardom on the hardwood in addition to the gridiron.

Now, Norwell is also well-versed in the five D's: dodge, duck, dip, dive and … dodge.

"We've got a little dodgeball thing at the school where we play," he told "It's been going on ever since that Dodgeball movie came out. I've been playing since last year. It's something fun to do, and I'm pretty good."

The fact that a 6-6, 255-pound offensive line prospect from Cincinnati Anderson is apparently good at dodgeball – his team boasts an 8-2 record – bodes well for Ohio State. In early February, the Buckeyes picked up a verbal commitment from Norwell, who is viewed by Scout as the top prospect within the state.

Anderson head coach Jeff Giesting cited a few likely reasons for that ranking.

"You have to be impressed with how physical he plays and how he finishes plays," the coach said. "Once he gets somebody going the other direction, he keeps them going that way. Once he gets somebody pinned on the ground, he keeps them there. He takes a lot of pride in winning that matchup every single play and coming out on top of it."

The last two seasons, Norwell has helped lead Anderson to berths in the state championship game. During that time, his team's offense has skewed toward running the football based on its available personnel.

As a result, Norwell has more experience with run blocking as opposed to pass blocking, but Giesting said his star lineman is adept at both.

"I think he's a good pass blocker too," Giesting said. "He's got long arms and great balance and he can keep people away from his core. He's probably had more practice run blocking obviously, but I see him as a decent pass blocker as well."

Despite the fact that his recruiting profile was just starting to grow with schools such as Notre Dame, Illinois, Cincinnati and Stanford all issuing him scholarship offers, Norwell decided early on that he wanted to be a Buckeye.

Then, after thinking things over for a few months, he decided to make it as official as possible.

"I think that was always a place that he was very, very interested in, and when they offered he was very excited," Giesting said. "He held off for a couple months and then finally I said, ‘Andrew, what are you thinking?' and he said, ‘I'm going to Ohio State. There's no place else I want to go.' He was very happy about it."

Had he not committed so early, Giesting said he feels Norwell would have received plenty more offers from schools around the country. What sold Norwell on the Buckeyes, he said, were the relationships he struck up with OSU recruiting coordinator John Peterson and offensive line coach Jim Bollman.

The firmness of his commitment is to the level where Norwell has told Giesting to throw away any recruiting mail he receives from other schools, and he does not take phone calls from schools other than OSU.

"I made my decision, so I don't want any other things interfering with it," Norwell said. "He was like, ‘Do you still want the recruiting letters?' and I was like, ‘No, I don't want to deal with that stuff.' I'm not into that. Rankings and stuff, I'm not into that."

What he is into now is working on improving his game during the offseason in preparation for his senior season.

Asked for his goals for the summer, Norwell said, "Basically to improve all over the place. There's a lot of guys up there who are working just as hard as I am. I have to work to get better and just keep working."

If he does that, Giesting said he could be in for a solid senior season.

"He's also a kid that really cares about his team," he said. "He wants the team to do well. He wants the offensive line to do well, and he's disappointed when he doesn't perform to his expectation level and when other guys don't perform to the level that we expect. He's a good leader in that regard."

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