By John Davis, Oxford Citizen
Ole Miss is set to host numerous high school football prospects this coming weekend on official visits. One of those scheduled to attend is Kendrick Norton, a defensive tackle from Jacksonville, Fla.
Norton, who was also named all-state at offensive guard at Trinity Christian Academy, is a top target for the Rebels because of a need at tackle past the 2015 season. Norton (6-foot-3, 310 pounds) was at the University of Miami this past weekend on an official visit.
Norton was joined on the trip to Miami with his mother. The visit went well, with his mother telling Matt Shodell of Canesport, the following:
“I liked it, the feel, and I liked that it’s small, an intimated setting,” she said. “Miami’s coaches, I thought they did a good job answering all of our questions, They were very personable and I got a good idea of their every day character and personality.”
Norton is very athletic, a player who has a lot of aggression to his game, according to Larry Blustein, the recruiting editor for the Miami Herald.
“He’s an intelligent kid who moves around very well,” Blustein said. “Not to say that wouldn’t translate to the offensive side of the ball, too. This is the perfect thing because it’s going to be based on where Mississippi needs him. If they need him at the guard position, they can plug him in there. He’s got a great base and he’s a great athlete.”
Blustein has seen Norton play in person twice this season, saying that he reads plays extremely well on defense.
“This is not a dumb kid, he’s football savvy,” Blustein said. “He is a weight room guy. He is probably one of the strongest guys on the team. He probably didn’t get real, real big until he was older because he is really light on his feet. And he’s very athletic.”
Blustein added that while Norton may not be quite as athletic as former Miami standout Warren Sapp was, he was was agile on his feet.
“He reminds me of a guy who would wrestle. He’s got balance to him,” Blustein said.
Miami has been one of the schools Norton has had up high, but it’s clear that Ole Miss has a good shot because they elevated above the likes of Florida and Florida State, the school Norton was committed to up until June.
“He opened it up and I think what happened is as he got more exposure, and I had a chance to talk with him twice in a month, and he said he was opening things up more to an SEC type of thing,” Blustein said. “At first he didn’t think he could compete, but then he watched a lot of the guys play and a lot of the guys he knew and play well. He started thinking if they could play there, he could play there. I think he got more confidence as the season went on. He’ll work out fine wherever he goes.”
Norton played in the Under Armour All-American game. He is a consensus four-star recruit. The other school to keep a keen eye on in regards to Norton is Auburn. Norton is scheduled to visit The Plains the final weekend before National Signing Day. He has visited Auburn twice already, so the familiarity level, just like at Miami, is a plus for the Tigers.