Well, looks like the commitment train is starting to come in, though this one was somewhat unexpected. With Riley Simonds commitment time coming on the 20th (likely Virginia Tech commitment), and then with strong Hokie favorite Mario Kendricks announcing on the 30th, Norell Pollard decided to beat all of them to the punch.
Pollard had recently visited Blacksburg with his father, and obviously thought it was time to make the decision.
Pollard had dropped a top 8 back in mid-May, which the Hokies were in on. Other schools included UCF, Rutgers, Duke, West Virginia, Indiana, Louisville, and NC State.
Pollard is a pretty solid defensive end prospect, though I’m going to take a wild guess in that he ends up putting on weight and becomes a defensive tackle in Charley Wiles’ scheme. Currently rated as a mid-to-high three star by all recruiting services, Pollard becomes the first defensive lineman in the class, and the first Floridian as well. The Hokies have had modest success in Florida for years- the past two classes included three apiece from Florida. This is also a quick turnaround on an offer- he was only tacked in with a scholarship offer since just before that top 8 was dropped May 18th.
Let’s do that whole tape study thing that I do and see what Charley Wiles and the staff snaked out of the Sunshine State.
Norell Pollard (Apopka, FL. 6’-2”, 265lbs. Defensive End/Tackle)
Pollard is a big and well-built dude that goes a lot faster than he looks like he should be able to go. I like the idea of putting that burst and strength in the inside somewhat in the mold of what Woody Baron turned into by the end of his tenure with the Hokies. He’s a hard hitter- which he dang well should be at 265lbs- which of course always endears Foster and Wiles to defensive prospects. He’s pretty good at beating through and shedding blocks, which means that he plays that penetrator role well. I’m not sure his speed is enough for defensive end in the Wiles scheme. That along with the depth at defensive end should mean that he bumps inside for mismatches with slower-moving guards. I do like his general awareness, but he does have a couple flaws. I think sometimes while he’s a big hitter he relies on it too much and will occasionally hunt for hits rather than tackles. He CAN wrap, so it’s a matter of attitude and want-to. He shows an interesting spin move on occasion, but other than that he’s almost at best a straight bull-rusher. And while that does work against many high school opponents, he’s going to need to work on a larger portfolio of moves in order to work out against stronger competition.
Either way, good to have Norell on board! Go Hokies.