Rick Rumph, an all-state player from Daytona Beach’s Mainland High, visited and committed to WVU Friday. And what a scene that must have been. Really, picture it in your head and it goes something like this, right?
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Rumph said he was offered a scholarship Friday morning in the office of West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen and accepted on the spot.
“They brought me in and (Coach Holgorsen) asked (defensive coordinator Joe) DeForest, ‘Do you really want this guy?’ And he said, ‘Yes,’ ” Rumph said in a phone interview from a Pittsburgh airport. “Then, Coach Holgorsen said, ‘Well, we want you to be a West Virginia Mountaineer.’ “
That’s a standard thing for Holgorsen’s WVU. He wants to meet a kid first. He’s also unfailingly sarcastic. Rumph, who counts as the 30th player in the 2012 class, required a little more time and attention, too.
It’s been a long road for Rumph, who sat at the table with all of his other college-bound teammates on National Signing Day, Feb. 1, acting out his signing of an NLI that would send him off to Jacksonville U.
But he signed nothing. He waited because he said he knew he could make it to the NCAA Division I-A level. Rumph said he wasn’t going to settle for anything less, especially because his qualifying GPA at Mainland was only shy of qualifying by .03 points.
Even after the grades came out, however, he wasn’t in a rush to break the news publicly. He wanted to make doubly sure. He didn’t want to jinx the one chance he had remaining.
So, he decided not to officially announce his decision until after his first visit to Morgantown.
He loved it. Now the ink is barely dry on the paper. His determination helped him realize his destination goal.
Apparently Rumph ended up signing with Division II Catawba, which graciously released him from the signed NLI once Rumph learned he’d scored an 18 on his most recent ACT — two points above with the NCAA’s eligibility center requires. Said center cleared Rumph before visiting Morgantown … though one suspects they’ll take another look, likely right in the middle of fall camp and just when Rumph and the rest of the players at his position are beginning to sort themselves.
Still, corner remains one of WVU’s needy positions and Rumph played in a talented area on a successful team. With Pat Miller’s status still, let’s say, unknown, and a bunch of unknown or untested players waiting in line, it helps to have numbers.