Shuford Ready to Begin Laker Career

Akron transfer Norman Shuford has bolstered a Laker backfield that already had talented runners in it. Shuford spoke to GVReport and explained why he chose to come to Grand Valley and his role for this season.

At Farmington Hills Harrison, Norman Shuford was one of the top running back recruits in the state. He was actively pursued by many schools, and as a result, did not consider GVSU too heavily as a destination.

"I was recruited out of high school by Grand Valley, but I had a D1 offer and you know, coming out of high school, you just want to go D1. It's a big name, so I decided to go to Akron."

GVSU's first year head coach Matt Mitchell was an assistant at the time, and a simple phone call to Shuford was something he remembered about the Lakers until the day he decided to transfer.

"Coach Mitchell was my recruiting coach and he called me and said thank you for letting us be part of your process. When things didn't go right for me at Akron, I called Coach Mitchell and he was willing to still have me on his team."

That was when Shuford visited Allendale.

"I called him, I came and saw the school and it blew me away. The things this school has is just like a D1 school, so I'm loving it so far."

With a couple of returning backs already on the roster, Shuford will not be stepping into a starting role. However, that does not mean he won't contribute.

"Right now, I'm kind of an alternate back, as in we have a thunder-lightning thing with a bigger back and I'm sort of a shiftier back. We have Hersey Jackson who's a pretty big runner. Justin Sherrod, he's the senior back. He's the leader. He's been here a long time. He's been teaching us the offense as we go along. He's like the mentor, the granddad of the group."

Shuford had a great spring, and with three more years of eligibility (including this year) looks poised to be a key player for the Lakers over the next few years. Looking back on the process and where he is now, he says he did not expect to see the kind of talent he has seen at GVSU.

"I'm very surprised. Like I said before, I was so stuck on D1 and D2 and D1 being better than D2, so when I got into D2, oh my goodness, it threw me for a complete loop. We have a lot of transfers too, but the players that are here, the will in their heart, they feel like maybe they have something to prove because some schools pass on them. They're so competitive and that's the kind of player I like to be around. I think that's why Grand Valley has been so successful, because they can recruit the type of players that don't want to lose."

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