The early commitment comes as no surprise to those recently following Norwell. Earlier, a Bucknuts blog entry by Matt Natali suggested that such a commitment would soon be forthcoming. However, it’s a pleasant surprise when other things are considered. First, Ohio State’s presence in Cincinnati recruiting as not as strong as its presence in other parts of the state, such as Cleveland, Youngstown, and, especially, Dayton and Columbus. Indeed, Cincinnati Cincitucky is often characterized a little city state to itself, where the Buckeyes are, at best, the 5th most important sports brand. It might be fair to say that, in Cincinnati recruiting, Ohio State is on level playing field with Notre Dame, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky. Second, Norwell’s older brother is Chris Norwell, a former Fighting Illini.
Norwell, the third commitment for 2010, should be a name to watch as next year’s recruiting class develops. He may well be the best offensive line prospect in the state of Ohio for his class. He also had offers from Notre Dame, Stanford, and Cincinnati.