ODU signee Levi Wentz, made the latest stride in a lifelong journey on Wednesday. The corner from new head coach Ricky Rahne’s home state of Pennsylvania made his decision official on National Signing Day.
Wentz, who was a three-star, has a very unique story. After bouncing in and out of foster homes, Patty and Jon Grubbs took care of Levi and treated him as one of their own. Their daughter, Beth Wentz, and her husband Brad adopted Levi in 2012.
“I grew up in foster care and had to basically raise my brother and sister,” Levi said. “Kids like me aren’t supposed to make it out and I was blessed with the right people surrounding me to be able to be where I am today. It’s the best feeling in the world to be signing today. I am beyond blessed and wouldn’t trade this for the world.”
Levi didn’t even play football growing up. The three-star’s rating was after just one season of playing football. “He set the whole idea of playing football his senior year, even though I was against it,” Brad exclaimed. “I always thought he was a basketball player and pushed him in that direction. He is a survivor, he is a scrapper, a go-getter, he wears his heart on his sleeve and won’t back down. He is a rare breed.”
Brad wrote a letter to his adoptive son on signing day after Levi made it official. This is what Brad Wentz had to say.
All of this hardship made Wednesday even more gratifying for Levi and his family. Levi told us that “I do it all for them. They truly saved my life and to be able to repay them now is just awesome”. “We are so excited to be joining the ODU family,” Brad said. “Both my wife and I got to visit ODU with our son and meet the coaches and see the special program they are building down in Norfolk. We couldn’t be more fired up about this opportunity. The potential for this program is through the roof.”
“You’ve really gotta go by what you are seeing and be able to project on how you feel like you can develop him,” Ricky Rahne said. “He is obviously a very raw athlete just because he hasn’t played a whole lot of football. His athletic ability is off the charts, his work ethic and everything is off the charts and his story is impressive. He has overcome a lot and we feel very confident about the type of kid he is and what he is going to put in and how hard he is going to work.”
247 Sports ranked Levi the 23rd-best player in the 2020 class from Pennsylvania. He chose the Monarchs over Army, Navy, Dartmouth, among others. This season, he led his Pine-Richland squad to a 10-2 record and a berth in the state playoffs while racking up 45 tackles over the season.
Wentz joins a defensive backfield that includes fellow signee K’Ron Ferrell from South Carolina. The Monarchs should return Lance Boykin, Tank Scott, Damion Charity, Kaleb Ford-Dement, and Geronda Hall, among others.