He took the test and felt relieved and encouraged at once.
"I knew I did good job," he said. "Coach called me in his office and said he had bad news. Then he said I got a 19 and started smiling."
Rumph was eligible and his coach's attempt at humor convinced Rumph that would be the last time he was unprepared. WVU's defensive coordinator, Joe DeForest, would soon call and invite Rumph to campus, where he accepted a scholarship offer. He quickly became an obvious choice to play in his first season with the Mountaineers and just his third year of organized football.
"I feel like we stole one," DeForest said.
The Mountaineers needed that, though. Senior Pat Miller and junior Brodrick Jenkins remain projected starters while fellow freshman Nana Kyeremeh has settled in on the second team with Rumph. Beyond that, WVU hasn't had too many other options.
Aware of the opportunity, Rumph is again sneaking in study sessions and taking tips as often as he can. The lessons are learned a little easier than expected because what he's being asked to do at WVU is similar to what he had to do in high school. He's ready for practice and meetings and, true to his pledge, hasn't been caught off guard since arriving.
"I always preach that there's carry-over," cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts said. "If you show up late for class or show up late for an exam or forget your pencil, that's going to carry over to other parts of your life."
Roberts reinforces that lifestyle. He requires his players to have a notebook and a pen at every meeting. If a player comes unprepared, he runs. Roberts is trying to break down the wall that a foolish person might think exists between football and academics or between academics and everyday life.
It's come quickly to Rumph. He says he's at WVU because of the sacrifices he made and the habits he developed to get ready for the ACT. He believes he's applied the same customs to making it with the Mountaineers. Roberts has spotted and admired that on the field and in the meeting room.
"He's a naturally driven person," Roberts said. "He has a lot of pride and he takes a lot of pride in putting a good product on the field. That shows with his film study and the discipline that he shows, whether it's in the weight room or even with getting meals and getting treatment."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.