He didn't give up, though, and in early June he got the test score he needed to qualify academically.
Again, though, one small problem: No one was waiting at his door.
"The only school that was hanging was Tennessee State,'' Rumph said. "And even they had backed off when it was getting closer to signing day and I still wasn't qualified.''
But then new West Virginia defensive coordinator Joe DeForest stepped into the picture, and he did so pretty much by accident.
"I wasn't looking for him. We were just out spring recruiting and his high school coach said, 'Hey, do you have any spots open?' '' DeForest recalled. "I watched his tape and just loved how he moved around.''
Rumph had had gotten that test score and might have been on his way to Tennessee State. But a guy who always seems to do things at the last moment decided he wasn't going to take his test score and jump.
"In the back of my mind I was always thinking, 'Let's see if anybody calls,''' Rumph said. "Because that happened to one of our cornerbacks last year. He got an offer from N.C. State at the last minute and I was kind of hoping I'd get the same thing.''
It did when West Virginia called and invited him up for a visit. The Mountaineers offered and it didn't take Rumph long to accept.
"I'm sure he was excited,'' DeForest said. "I know we were excited.''
West Virginia was in the market for a cornerback because the Mountaineers are thin at the position with only starters Pat Miller and Brodrick Jenkins having any experience. So right away, Rumph had a chance. He's competing with a handful of others - including fellow freshmen Nana Kyeremeh and Brandon Napoleon - and could very well see playing time.
"Ricky has shown a lot of toughness because he didn't know he was going to be playing for West Virginia two months ago,'' cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts said. "When you watch him on tape and in the meeting rooms, everything about his demeanor says he wants to come in and contribute early. We're going to continue to give him some reps and it's our hope that he can contribute early in the season.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.