August 18, 2006
Norton out of nowhere
Several schools recruited Cedar Hill (Texas) standout Jerell Norton to play a variety of positions, but Arkansas received his letter of intent recruting him to play cornerback, and he is just now able to show off his skills.
Norton, 6-foot, 180 pounds, was awaiting word from the NCAA Clearinghouse on his eligibility. Everything appeared to be in order, but there were a couple of classes that were questioned by the committee. However, those questions were answered, and Norton practiced for the first time on Tuesday. Wednesday, after only two workouts in shorts and helmet, defensive coordinator Reggie Herring said he saw something special in the true freshman.
"I can tell you right now, the little bit we've seen of Jerell Norton tells us he has special cover skills," Herring said on Wednesday. "He's a mature kid for his age. We're going to throw him in the fire. Don't be surprised if you see him work his way into the starting nickle position by September 2nd. He's got as good a cover skills as any corner we've got on the field. He's a very talented freshman. The mental toughness thing remains to be seen, but at this point in time we're getting him ready to play against Southern Cal."
Norton had offers from Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma State, SMU and others. Some wanted him to play quarterback, others liked him at receiver, and still a few like Arkansas wanted him for cornerback. Norton orinally committed to Tulsa, but the Golden Hurricane warned him that they would take back his scholarship offer if he kept taking official visits after his trip to Fayetteville (Ark.).
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