By Keith McGonigle.
With many big names running backs and receivers verbally committing to the 2011 Clemson class, it is easy to forget about the guys in the trenches. Center Ryan Norton out of Mauldin High school, verbally committed nearly five months ago, and may be one of Clemson’s most underrated recruits.
Ryan is not really happy about how his team has played but sees hope, “were 4-4, we could be doing a lot better, but we lost a few tight games. We want to win out the rest of our games make it to the playoffs, hopefully state championship” said Ryan, “My goals are just to help the team out as much as possible.”
Ryan plays mostly center but also plays long snapper, and helps out at defensive tackle when the team runs five man fronts.
So far Ryan has graded out with all A’s and B’s. Ryan explained how he is graded out, “Our coach sits down on Saturday and watches the film. He watches to see if you did your job, or if they got penetration. He grades based on that, and then on Monday he will sit down and talk about the mistakes. I would say the average grade for our lineman is about an 82.”
The 6’4” 272 lbs o-lineman says that he continues to try and get better every day, “I want to improve on my explosion, and being able to get out in blocks and into the secondary against corners and safeties. Also, my hand placement and strength.”
Ryan like many centers, models his game after one of the best centers in Jeff Saturday (Colts). The standout lineman currently maxes out at 355 lbs on the bench and can run a 5.1 40 time and a 4.6 in the pro agility test.
Are other schools still actively recruiting him?
“Not really, it really slowed down. I still get letters and invites to games but I don’t respond. I am 100% committed to Clemson.”