The Greatest Series: Football Player No. 5

In today's The Greatest Series in IU history, our No. 5 football player of all time had an incredible 199 tackles in one season which still stands 34 ahead of anyone else in IU history for one year. He had 26 tackles in a game his senior year at Ohio State. Check it out.

Each day, has a new installment in “The Greatest” series that will chronicle some of the top players, teams and performances in Indiana football and basketball history.

The first two top 10 countdowns were basketball topics: the top 10 performances and the top 10 last second shots of all time. In this countdown, we look at the top 10 IU football players of all-time. Corby Davis was No. 6 yesterday and here is No. 5


NO. 5 : Joe Norman

So often in these top 10 lists like this, it’s all about offense. How many touchdowns, rushing yards or other superlatives from an offensive standpoint can paint a picture of the best individual performer of a certain era.

The No. 6 selection on our list, however, is from the defensive side of the ball.

Browse the Indiana University record book and there is one name that jumps out repeatedly from the defensive side of the ball.

Joe Norman, a linebacker, had 199 total tackles as a senior in 1978 to shatter the IU school record in that category. To this day, it is still 34 more tackles than anyone else for one season in IU history.

And 141 of those were solo tackles. Just his solo tackle number by itself would be tied for fifth all-time for total tackles by a player in a season at IU.

As a junior he had 124 tackles, which ranks as the 10th best single season total in Indiana history.

For his four-year Indiana career he had 444 tackles. That’s 60 more than Willie Bates in second pace all time.

Norman also holds the school record for the most tackles in one game. Against Ohio State his senior year, Norman was credited with 26 tackles in one game.

He was a second team All-American selection in 1978 and a first team All-Big Ten performer that season.

Stay tuned for the No. 4 player tomorrow in’s The Greatest Series in IU history.

No. 10 James Hardy

No. 9 Pete Pihos

No. 8 John Tavener

No. 7 Tim Clifford

No. 6 Corby Davis

No. 5 Joe Norman

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