Woodgrove running back Josh Sweet, center, walks through plays with his teammates during football. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Up until last year, Josh Sweet thought baseball would be the ticket that granted him access to an array of major colleges. But following a junior campaign in which he produced 1,727 rushing yards, 25 touchdowns and the AA Dulles District Division 4 Offensive Player of the Year award, both the Woodgrove tailback and multiple college football coaches grew convinced of his bright future on the gridiron.


Last week, Sweet’s new college route found its destination when he committed to play at Cornell. The senior’s decision was rooted in a June visit made to the Ivy League campus.

“I went up there for a camp this past summer and took a campus tour while I was there and I just fell in love with it,” Sweet said. “I enjoyed working with the running backs coach, Coach [Mike] Neuberger, at the camp and Coach [David] Archer has so much positive energy.”

Though Sweet, who also had an offer from Yale and strong interest from Georgetown, knew this summer that Cornell was the right fit for him, the successful visit only marked the beginning. The next months were spent on the application, essays and other parts of the highly selective admissions process.

Woodgrove bruising senior running back Josh Sweet recently committed to play football at Cornell (Photo courtesy of Josh Sweet) Woodgrove bruising senior running back Josh Sweet recently committed to play football at Cornell (Photo courtesy of Josh Sweet)

After receiving his financial aid package from the school last week, Sweet was able to solidify his strong interest with a commitment during a phone call with the Big Red coaches.

“Football’s allowed me to attend an Ivy League school, which is really a blessing,” Sweet said. “To be able to go to a great school and play football is something I’m looking forward to and Cornell is a perfect fit for me.”

Though the Big Red’s offense relies heavily on its passing attack, Sweet and the coaches believe there’s plenty of opportunity for the 5-foot-11, 220-pounder to make an impact. His compact, powerful build allows him to run well between the tackles and also serve as a strong protector against the pass rush.

“I’m the type of player that can solidify a long drive because I can get you yards that are there and a couple extra yards that aren’t,” Sweet said. “If they want me to pass protect or catch the ball out of the backfield, whatever it is, I’m ready to do it.”

Check out this week’s installment of Top Plays, including highlights from Woodbridge’s Da’Shawn Hand and West Potomac’s Demornay Pierson-El.

Host B.J. Koubaroulis runs through the top plays from the weekend of football in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. (Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

Second-half goals scored by No. 3 Glenelg to rally the Gladiators past No. 6 Atholton for a 3-2 win in Monday’s battle between two defending field hockey state champions.

— With last week’s loss by previous No. 1 Good Counsel, see which team now holds the top spot in The Post Top 20 football rankings.

— See who made the cut for this week’s All-Met football watch.

— Gaithersburg standout running back Solomon Vault is expected to miss at least two weeks after suffering a lower leg injury in last week’s win against Clarksburg.

— Tuscarora (Va.) used a goal-line stand to hold off three-time West Virginia state champ Martinsburg and remain undefeated.

— Centennial’s win against rival Mount Hebron did not come without a cost, as two players and one coach from each team were suspended for a first-quarter scuffle.

— The strong chemistry between Lake Braddock teammates and best friends Caleb Henderson and Ryan Antonellis has made the Bruins one of the area’s top teams.

— With a win against defending state champ Wise under its belt and a matchup against undefeated Suitland on tap this week, DuVal looks to further stake its claim within the upper echelon of Prince George’s football scene.

No. 1 Marriotts Ridge (6-0) at No. 3 Reservoir (4-0-1), 5:30 p.m.
In their first test since taking over the area’s top spot among boys’ soccer teams, Amir Najib (11 goals) and Marriotts Ridge take on a tough Reservoir squad in Howard County play.