Even though Cincinnati Anderson offensive lineman Andrew Norwell’s
season was cut short by a broken leg, his path toward Columbus and a
spot on the Ohio State Buckeyes football team was not detoured.
Even though Cincinnati Anderson offensive lineman Andrew Norwell’s season was cut short by a broken leg, his path toward Columbus and a spot on the Ohio State Buckeyes football team was not detoured.
Now that Norwell (6-6, 290, 5.1) has finally signed his national letter of intent, he feels a sense of relief.
“It feels great to finally sign the letter of intent,” said Norwell. “I’m happy and I’m looking forward to it.”
The verbal commitment to the Buckeyes was not a lock early on, even though Norwell grew up in Ohio. There was another Big Ten team that was creeping into his view, in part because of his brother.
“I was an Illinois fan for a little bit because my brother (Chris) played there,” Norwell said. “But I’ve always been an Ohio State fan. I have to root for my state.
“I really like the coaches a lot. And I liked the atmosphere at the stadium. It was pretty sweet when the game starts.”
Once the commitment came from Norwell in February 2009, it was supposed to lead to an easy, even care-free senior season with the worries of recruiting behind him. Obviously the injury derailed Norwell’s senior campaign but now it’s the recovery that he is focused on, as are most Buckeye fans.
“Things are going good,” said Norwell. “It’s pretty healed up. I’m just working out and trying to get back into shape right now. I’m just trying to get healthier and make the most of the time.”
The injury, Norwell feels, could have a lingering effect on his development. That could make the difference for him as a freshman in determining if he redshirts in 2010 or not. Norwell just wants a shot and will give it his all.
“I just want to go up there and compete,” Norwell said. “We’ll see what happens and hopefully, I can work my way into a spot. I work hard and I finish plays and go to the whistle.”
Sometimes the younger players come in overconfident and are sure that they will be on the field immediately. Norwell does not know for certain, but he has a plan that he feels will help him reach the field as soon as possible.
“I need to get into the weight room and get all of my leg strength back,” said Norwell. “It’s coming along. It all about the progress that I’m making and the people I’m working with are saying that it’s coming along well. While I was on my crutches, I was lifting just upper body. So, that helps.”
Ohio State’s recruiting class in 2010 is not nearly as heralded as some of the more recent classes under head coach Jim Tressel. Norwell sees that as an opportunity and not a hindrance.
“It sounds like a challenge,” said Norwell. “You just have to work hard together and work as a team, I guess. I look at them as my teammates and someone I have to compete with for a starting job and they’ll help me get better.”
Norwell’s high school coach Jeff Giesting sees Norwell as a player that puts the team first. He is convinced that will continue when he hits the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
“He just wants to do what’s best for our team and I think that’s what’s most impressive about him,” said Giesting. “He cares about Anderson football and he wants Anderson to be successful. He’ll be the same way with the Buckeyes.”
Giesting, an assistant at Anderson for 19 years prior to becoming the head coach there, had nothing but great things to say about his standout left tackle.
“I think Andrew is the best offensive lineman since I’ve been at Anderson in my 21 years there and we’ve sent some kids to Boston College, his brother (Chris) went to Illinois and played, and we’ve sent kids to Louisville, Kentucky and everywhere else,” Giesting said. “But Andrew is definitely a huge reason for our success the last couple of years. We were able to control the line of scrimmage and run the football.”