Smyrna’s Wormley commits to Penn State

SMYRNA — Saleem Wormley’s meteoric rise over the past year has taken him to one of the premier programs in college football.

Wormley, a rising senior offensive lineman at Smyrna High, announced a verbal commitment to Penn State on Monday.

Wormley, rated as a four-star recruit by most recruiting websites, chose Penn State over Rutgers and Notre Dame, the two other schools in his final three. He had scholarship offers from more than 20 Division I programs.

“It’s so satisfying to see a kid work hard, do everything right and get rewarded for it,” said Smyrna coach Mike Judy. “It’s one of those feel-good stories where he just is one of those kids who does what he’s suppose to do and doesn’t let obstacles get into his way. Credit to Penn State for recognizing the value in him.”

Wormley is projected to play guard in college. He only moved over to the offensive side of the ball prior to the 2017 high school season.

Wormley was a defensive line player for the Eagles his first two years before the coaching staff asked him to play offensive line.

“He did it and didn’t even question it,” Judy said. “He bought into us coaching him hard and used his given abilities to take him the rest of the way. He took right to it and (Smyrna offensive line) coach (Chris) Sfamurri did a great job coaching him up. We knew he was going to be good, but I wouldn’t say we knew he would be signing at a Division I school, but there was always the chance he could be pretty special.”

It took less than a year for the college offers to start rolling in for Wormley, he garnered his first scholarships offers before the end of the 2017 season. Wormley ended the year with a spot on the All-State first team and was a part of Smyrna’s third-straight Division I state championship team.

Wormley is listed on most recruiting sites at 6-foot-4 and anywhere between 310-320 pounds.

“He’s an unbelievable athlete for how big he is,” Judy said. “He’s so powerful and so quick with great feet. Penn State was really impressed with him in that regard. He’s not afraid to finish people either. We were told by several of the schools he was one of the most technically sound kids they’ve seen and remember he’s only done it for a year. Every time you see the kid he’s getting a little better. Penn State knows he’s the type of kid who will come in and do the work it takes to get better.”

Wormley is yet another player in recent years who has gone Division I out of Smyrna.

Quarterback Nolan Henderson signed with Delaware two years ago and running back Will Knight went to Old Dominion last year. Running back Leddie Brown also played his junior year at Smyrna and ended up committing to West Virginia last season.

Judy said it shows the strength of high school football in Delaware.

“I really feel like the past couple years, not just in my program, but in programs across the state we’ve established if you’re good enough, big enough and athletic enough people will find you,” Judy said. “With social media today, it’s easy, they see your film and they come calling. If there’s a kid in Delaware reading my words, you don’t have to go anywhere to get what you deserve. You just have to make wherever you are the best experience you can. Go all in where you are at and it will happen as we’ve seen and I have a feeling it’s going to keep happening more and more.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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