Natural Norman

While he is one of the favorite targets of the nation's top-rated quarterback, Andrew Norman is also drawing plenty of attention from the University of Arkansas and others because of his own skills.

Put in any DVD from this past Springdale High School football season and you''ll see a ton of stars jump out at you.

But perhaps the most least-publicized yet efficient one would be wideout Andrew Norman (6-2, 170, 4.55), who numbers the University of Arkansas among his four scholarship offers right now.

He was the Red Bulldogs' top receiver last year with 44 catches for 535 yards and 5 touchdowns, hauled in 25 receptions for 475 yards and 7 scores as a sophomore and has also managed to rush for over 300 yards.

Having kicked field goals of 52 and 57 yards in practice, he would also be handling those duties except for the fact that Springdale boasts all-star junior Alex Tejada.

"Andrew is not only a great athlete, but very smart and right where he is suppose to be every time," Springdale head coach Gus Malzahn said. "He is a big factor in our offense being as explosive as it is."

Springdale quarterback Mitch Mustain - the nation's top-rated quarterback - couldn't agree more about his favorite target and close friend.

"He's just a great receiver and someone who not only catches the ball when it is thrown to him, but makes big plays when he does get it," Mustain said. "I feel very comfortable having him out there and knowing I can throw the ball and he's going to be there to get it and go up and get it if I don't make the best throw."

Norman, who also has offers from Iowa, and Louisville, Kansas, takes all the praise in stride.

"I just try to go out and do my job and help our team win," Norman said. "That is the most important thing on all of our minds."

Norman. also a very good baseball player, got all four of his offers this spring.

"I haven't gotten anymore, but there are quite a few schools sending me stuff and acting as if they are about to offer," Norman said. "South Carolina is getting real serious and so are Mississippi State and Virginia. I am probably going to hold off committing somewhere right now to see what those schools do."

His last unofficial visit was to Texas along with Mustain and fellow Springdale standouts Damian Williams and Bartley Webb back in June for a camp when Arkansas and Texas hooked up in a NCAA Regional baseball game also in Austin.

"We got to see what it was like down there and hang out with some of their players," Norman said. "We got to go their camp. It was kind of cool going to the game and seeing Arkansas win."

Norman grew up a Razorback fan and has thought about all five of the Springdale players getting together and playing at Arkansas.

"That's certainly something that we have talked about," Norman said. "We all have to make the best decision for ourselves, but it's something to really think about. I have a lot of respect for the Arkansas program and its coaches and they obviously have great, great facilities."

Springdale won a 7-on-7 tournament in Fountain Lake last weekend.

"We went and played at Fountain Lake and got some good work in there, about seven games," Norman said. "It got hot up there so we got to see what kind of shape we were in."

Norman is among 40 players from Springdale that are traveling out for this weekend's Nike Elite 7-on-7 Tournament on the campus of USC and then onto Hoover, Ala., for another prestigious event the following weekend.

"We are just looking for to it," Norman said. "There are going to be a lot of good athletes out there (at USC) so that should be fun to see some different competition. It will be good for our team to see how we react in bad spots if we get down in a game. It will show us a lot about our character."

"There are going to be great teams out there," Norman added. "Mission Viiejo is a top five program year in and year out and (Concord) De La Salle and (Long Beach) Cal-Poly are going to be out there and we know they are good. Down at Hoover, Hoover is ranked as the preseason No. 1 in the polls so it's just more great competition."

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