Moran Norris living NFL dream

Moran Norris is loving life back home in the Houston. The former Jayhawk fullback still misses Lawrence a bit, but you won't hear him complain with everything else that's going on in his life right now.

Norris currently has a starting job with the Houston Texans, a new home to live in, and a fiancé on his arm that he'll be marrying in March of 2004.

To top it all off, he's living his dream and playing pro football in his hometown.

"It's lovely, you can't beat playing at home. I've got my parents here and I've gotten engaged since I was last in Lawrence so I have my fiancé here too. Plus, we've got a great coaching staff."

The house and the fiancé have been in the fold for a little while, but the starting gig just recently fell in his lap.

After being used primarily on special teams last year, Norris is now the man in Houston after the Texans' top fullback, Jarrod Baxter, severely sprained his foot and will now miss the entire season.

Norris is thrilled for the opportunity.

"I'm really excited. I've been in a predicament like this at Kansas with the Jayhawks, so I'm just trying to stay focused."

The third-year fullback who came to Kansas as a tight end, says he's ready for the challenge and won't let the added pressure get to him.

"I try not to put that much pressure on myself because I understand that everybody is gonna make mistakes, nobody is perfect, so I'm just gonna stay focused and go out there and do my best."

It's been an interesting road to his current position atop the Texans' depth chart at fullback. After converting from tight end to fullback at Kansas, Norris began to catch the eyes of NFL scouts and ultimately was taken in the fourth round of the 2001 draft by the New Orleans Saints. Norris saw action in five games his rookie year and then was cut by the Saints after being inactive for the first two games of the 2002 season. The Texans then snatched him up and Norris came home to Houston.

Norris thinks he's found his niche with the Texans, but it's come with many adjustments from the college game to the NFL.

"On the field (the biggest adjustment) is the tempo. The coaches expect a lot and we can't have that many mistakes here."

"Off the field, it's to manage time your time wisely. You have to lift on your own and you can take a little vacation, but you have to realize when it's time to get back to work, starting lifting and get ready for the season."

While he's had to make numerous adjustments to survive in the NFL, one thing about Moran has never changed and that's his love for children and giving back to the community. Much like his time in Lawrence , Norris is still seizing every chance he gets to hang out with kids.

"Yeah, I've been working with the community down here in Houston. I been doing youth stuff with kids and it's been really exciting."

Norris' optimism and enthusiasm also have not changed. He expects big things out of his Texans this year.

"We're going to do really good this year, I can see it. We've come a long ways from last year. We're gonna have a fantastic year."

Norris and newly acquired running back Stacey Mack will man the backfield for Houston and Moran has a special message for fans about his new partnership with Mack.

"Just tell the fans to watch out and be waiting on us, ‘cause here we come!" Top Stories