Clemson in strong position for OL

Clemson sits in good position for the top in-state center prospect for the class of 2011.

C Ryan Norton Profile

CUTigers caught up with Mauldin High School center/long-snapper Ryan Norton on Thursday to get the latest on South Carolina's top in-state center.

"Clemson is on top with Georgia Tech right now," he said.

"I've been (to Clemson) a few times, but nothing as big as my last."

When Norton was in Tigertown for the Maryland basketball game, he was presented the offer by coach Dabo Swinney after he was shown around the facilities by offensive line coach Brad Scott and running backs coach Andre Powell.

"It was great. It was a lot of weight off my shoulders, it felt like. I'm really, really honored to get an offer from Clemson," Norton said.

Last fall, he attended just one game on an unofficial visit--the Clemson/Virginia game. He had plans to for a "few" visits elsewhere, but was unable to attend the games.

"It's a great atmosphere. The fans really get into it and everything," Norton said.

Along with Clemson, Georgia Tech and East Carolina have offered. He "wouldn't mind" getting more, including one from the school he grew up rooting for on Saturdays--South Carolina. He doesn't expect an offer from the Gamecocks.

"I wouldn't mind the offer, but they also signed two centers this last year," Norton said.

Scheduled to go to Georgia Tech's Junior Day, he was unable to make the trip south to Atlanta because of the weather. That following Monday, Norton called co-offensive line coach Todd Spencer, and was told he'd be receiving an offer.

"I'm very honored to have that offer. I'm wanting to get up there to see how everything is," Norton said.

On Wednesday, he received mail from Vanderbilt and Illinois, requesting his film. He also hears from Duke, South Carolina and Wake Forest.

Upon reviewing all potential schools, Norton has a few criteria that he will be evaluating.

"Number one is definitely education and graduation rate. Two is coaching staff and three is atmosphere," he said.

Norton would like to make a commitment prior to the start of his senior season.

"I really want to focus on helping out my team as much as possible," he said. Top Stories