NFL Draft Profile – CB Josh Norman


JOSH NORMAN/CORNERBACK

Personal

Josh Norman

Born – December 15, 1987 in Greenwood, South Carolina.

Family – Son of Sandra and Roy Norman. He has three brothers who all played college athletic. Brother Marrio played football defensive back at Coastal Carolina University. Renaldo played basketball at Edward Waters College, a NAIA program in Jacksonville, Florida. He later went on to play for several years in the CBA, the USBL and in Europe. Brother Orlando played football at North Carolina A&T. Josh is the youngest of the four brothers.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet ½-inch.
  • Weight – 197 pounds.
  • Arm – 32 ½ inches.
  • Hand – 9 ¼ inches.
  • Wingspan – 78 ½ inches.

NFL Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.62 seconds.
  • Bench press – 14 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 33 inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 4 inches.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.23 seconds.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.09 seconds.

Hometown

Norman was born and raised in Greenwood, South Carolina. The county seat of Greenwood County in the northwest corner of the state, the 2010 Census placed the population of the town at just over 23,000. It’s halfway between Spartanburg, South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia. It’s the North American headquarters for Fujifilm and the home of Lander University. Natives of Greenwood include former NFL players TE Ben Coates, QB Armanti Edwards, and the late DE Gaines Adams. Gregg Marshall the head basketball coach at Wichita State was born in Greenwood.

High School

Norman was part of the 2008 graduating class of Greenwood High School. With an enrollment of 1,700 students, it’s the only high school in Greenwood County. He participated in football, basketball, baseball and track as well.

In 2006, Norman was part of the Greenwood Eagles AAA-Division II state championship team. During his three years with the varsity, he played five positions KR, WR, PR, SS and special teams.

Recruiting

Georgia was the only school that showed extended interest in Norman, but in the end he did not reach the Bulldog’s SAT standard (he scored a 1010) and no scholarship was offered. He moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where older brother Marrio was playing football at Coastal Carolina. He took some classes at the Horry County-Georgetown Technical College and then went through a tryout and made the Coastal roster as a walk-on.

College

Norman played the last three seasons at Coastal on a scholarship; he was prepared to leave after his freshman season and transfer to Georgia. That’s when Chanticleers coach David Bennett offered him a full-ride, and he finished out his career in Myrtle Beach.

2011 – First team FCS All-America selection by the Associated Press, he also earned a third straight All-Big South Conference honors. He was twice named Big South Defensive Player of the Week. He was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as the defensive player of the year on the FCS level.

2010 – A first-team All-Big South selection even after teams began throwing the other way against the Coastal defense.

2009 – A third-team All-America pick by the Associated Press and first-team All-Big South Conference defense after he finished tied for second in the nation with 8 interceptions. He earned conference defensive player of the week honors for his 3 interceptions against Gardner-Webb.

2008 – Played in 12 games as a true freshman, starting seven times. First action came against Penn State when he had four solo tackles.

(Statistics are from Coastal Carolina and may not match those of the NCAA.)

Year

G/S

Tkl

TFL

INT

PD

FF

BK

Rec

2011 11/10

62

2

2

12

2

1

7-4

2010 12/12

56

3

1

9

1

1

6-6

2009 11/11

43

1

8

7

1

2

5-6

2008 12/7

35

1

2

7

0

0

6-6

Total 46/40

196

7

13

35

4

4

24-22

Caught one pass for 14 yards; returned 6 punts for 55 yards; had 72 yards in interception returns.

Jurisprudence

Some NFL personnel types have raised questions about Norman’s character and they all seem to trace back to an incident from his sophomore year. On October 26 he was pulled over for a non-working tail light. A check showed that his license was suspended and he was charged with driving without a valid South Carolina license. Norman spent just over an hour at a police station and paid a $237.50 fine.

“This is an unfortunate case of miscommunication with a family member over a previous ticket that was to be paid,” Coastal A.D. Warren Koegel said in a statement released by the school. “When it wasn’t, his license was suspended without his knowledge and wasn’t discovered until this weekend. We have discussed this matter internally and with various law enforcement officials, and in our view, this matter has been resolved and he will participate fully in this week’s preparation for and play in the game. This is unfortunate as he has been a model student-athlete, both on and off the field, here at Coastal Carolina.”

This is the only stumble that’s visible on Norman’s record.

Marrio Norman was arrested 10 days after his younger brother and charged with multiple offenses, including simple possession of marijuana and having a suspended driver’s license. It wasn’t the first time Marrio Norman ran into problems – he was suspended for the 2005 season after violating school regulations.

Video

Spring 2012 interview with highlights – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z71jmYWCg4Q

Collection of highlights – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj1RwYJwinc&feature=relmfu

What Josh Norman said

“I’ve loved football my whole life, since I was a little kid. I used to play football when I was little. I played all sorts of sports. Basketball, track, I even liked to swim at the YMCA. But no other sport meant as much to me as football does. When I’m out on the field, I just like to have fun, and stay loose.”

“Everyone at those big schools, it really doesn’t matter; if you can play then you can play, it really doesn’t matter what school you attend.”

“The love of the game, the competitiveness, I want to be the best. You have the best person on offense going against the best person on defense you win and lose games in the air. I want to be the difference maker on defense. I will help get the ball back to the offense.”

“I want to be in the Hall of Fame. That is my biggest goal. I want to work as hard as I can to be the best player I can be to get there. I want to go into the NFL with my head on straight and work hard week in and week out to help my team. I want to defeat all odds.

“Week in and week out I will fight for my team. I will do whatever I need to do to win and help my teammates and to help myself in becoming a better player. I feel I can be a shutdown corner. I will be that player on one side of the field that the coaching staff can depend on. I will be a guy they can trust. I will work my hardest to become a complete player and you will get 100% effort each time I step on the field.”

What they said about Josh Norman

“He’s very talented, and we had a lot of [NFL] scouts come through here this year – probably more than in a long time, probably since ’06. Teams will have a guy come in and then a director of scouting come in, and he’s the main guy they’re looking at. It’s not every day that the good Lord blesses somebody with being 6-foot-2, [with] long arms, long legs and that type of quickness, that type of speed, that type of ball skills. It just doesn’t happen every day.” Former Coastal Carolina head coach David Bennett.

EVALUATION

Strengths – Norman has a good base package of athletic ability. He’s got flexible hips, good size, soft hands, quickness and speed. He does a great job of seeing the field, making a play on the ball, even deep throws over his head. He showcases natural fluidity in the hips when trying to change directions, stays low and can be physical when driving on the football in order to make a play on the football. He’s also very physical when asked to come up in press coverage at the line of scrimmage. His four kick/punt blocks are testimony to his quickness.

Deficient – Despite a wealth of athletic ability, he sometimes has poor control of his body and will miss on a tackle. At times takes questionable angles to the receiver and ball, keeping him from breaking up what should have been an easy play to stop. For the most part plays with the cornerback mentality of putting the play behind him, but at times it was obvious he took a problem from the previous snap into the next play – that’s a recipe for disaster in the NFL.

Analysis – Played with a chip on his shoulder and that sometimes weighed him down in his attempts to make big plays and get noticed. He had a great week at the East-West Shrine Game, but over his career he’s not seen the top-flight receiving talent at Coastal Carolina. He can be a diva type, who likes to talk and chatter. Generally he backs up his words with his play. Norman is already 24 years old and he’ll be 25 by the end of the 2012 season.

What the scouts say

An AFC scout – “Although he’s plenty big enough, he plays with that little man attitude, probably coming from the FCS level. His upside is hard to judge; at worst you’ll get a nickel back and special teams guy.”

An NFC scout – “I like this kid and I think with the right secondary coach and some veterans who can share some fundamentals and insight, he could make a splash. There will be some developmental time, because he needs exposure to talented wide receivers on a daily basis.”

Does he fit with the Chiefs?

A team can never have enough good cornerbacks and coverage options, so yes he would fit in with the Chiefs. But it’s not likely they’ll be looking at cornerback talent in the first rounds of the draft, when Norman is likely to be selected.

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