One of the best offensive tackles prospects in the nation might not even play football next year. Riley Norman, who plays for the Cadillac Vikings right now, is a verbal commit to be on the track team for the Michigan State Spartans. Can their head coach Mark Dantonio talk him into leading his abilities to the Spartan football team?
Norman stands an impressive 6 foot, 7 inches and weighs in at 315 pounds. Size alone makes him a prototypical tackle to play at the next level. What I really liked from his highlights was that he moves very well on his feet. There were plays where he pulled and for a guy that size, he can definitely get to who he is supposed to be blocking.
Another great thing I saw from him was when a defensive lineman comes up against him–he makes it look effortless to the point where they look like they give up. Who knows, they might have because when someone this size and ability to move on their feet in high school gets his paws on you, you aren’t going anywhere. This obviously won’t be as easy if he plays at the next level.
I do have a couple of issues with him. Right now he plays right tackle for Cadillac. With his size and footwork, I think the next level he should be the left tackle to protect the quarterback’s blindside. Many high schools like to put their two best linemen to the right though to create a power side, which makes it easier to run behind. I just hope he can learn the left side if he elects to play football.
The other issue is that he doesn’t have the demeanor to play football. From what I have heard, he is a shy, quiet guy who is modest. That doesn’t necessarily means it will transfer to his game, but it could. If he could play angry, he could be a very dangerous lineman.
I believe that Norman would be a perfect fit for the Spartans and what they want to do on the football field. His high school team runs the ball and from what I see from his footwork, he would fit in very nicely with what they do. The players he would go up against at the next level are going to be a lot better, since right now he doesn’t even play at the highest division, I do think that he could adapt to handle it still.
The biggest problem though comes down to what he wants to do. He wants to go to the next level to throw the shot-put. He has grown up a Spartan fan and even has family members who are graduates from there. It isn’t a lock yet, but it does sound like that is where he is going to end up going next year. The real goal will be Dantonio talking this kid into joining the football team. I think he would become a real asset for their offensive and would be a great addition at left or right tackle.