Norwin’s Jayvon Thrift commits to Youngstown State

Sunday, October 7, 2018 | 1:33 AM

Jayvon Thrift went with the school where he felt the most mutual admiration — the one that wanted him the most.

The senior football player from Norwin announced late Saturday he has given a verbal commitment to Youngstown State.

The FCS Penguins will get a package deal from Norwin come signing day. In August, Knights senior linebacker Gianni Rizzo also committed to play for them.

Thrift, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound safety known for his highlight-reel hits , also considered Indiana and Ohio. He initially had offers from Pitt, West Virginia and Syracuse, among others.

“They showed me what it felt like to be wanted,” Thrift said of Youngstown State. “And I fit the scheme of their defense. Coach (Richard) McNutt is a real genuine coach who, I feel, can help get me where I want to be.”

As for joining Rizzo in Ohio, Thrift always kept the idea in mind. He did not commit when Rizzo did because he wanted to research some other programs, but knew Youngstown would be a finalist.

“Me and Gianni have been real close since the fourth grade,” Thrift said. “He’s like a brother to me. It’s going to be great playing with him for the next four years.”

Said Rizzo: “I’d always tell him it would be awesome to go to the same school together, but I also would tell him to go where he feels is the best for him.”

Thrift has 57 tackles and a sack in six games for the Knights (3-4). He has 54 yards rushing on 18 carries and 30 yards receiving on three catches.

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at or via Twitter @BillBeckner.


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