The 2002 LSU recruiting class was a bit unusual in that it did not contain a single tight end. The Tigers have been able to sign some of the best tight end talent around over the last few years, but the lone blue-chip athlete they pursued this year, Eric Winston of Midland, Texas, chose Miami.
The absence of tight ends in 2002 is all the more noticeable since LSU has lost Joe Domingeaux and Robert Royal to graduation. If Marcus Spears and Demetri Robinson continue work primarily with the defense and Solomon Lee stays at fullback, this leaves the Tigers with three scholarship tight ends – the fewest they've had in quite some time.
All that should change in the 2003 recruiting effort, however. LSU already has one commitment from a tight end, Leesville's Keith Alleger, and is sending out feelers for a few more.
One who is returning the interest is D.J. Norris of Pace High School in Pensacola, Fla. He was one of many prospects in attendance at LSU's Junior Day in February and, according to his head coach, should heavily recruited as his senior season approaches.
"He's getting questionnaires from everybody," said Pace head coach Mickey Lindsey. Lindsey said its really too early to say if Norris is leaning to a particular school but thought there is some interest in LSU since Norris made the trip there. Although Norris has played tight end exclusively as a two-year starter for Pace, Lindsey feels there is the chance he could also be recruited as an outside linebacker.
Norris, who stands 6-foot-2, is a bit shorter than the standard college tight end, but his 230-pound frame, athletic ability and 4.6-speed make him highly suitable for the position.
"He's got excellent feet," added Lindsey. "He's power-cleaned 300 pounds, which is excellent for a high school kid. He knows how to work hard."
As a junior at Pace, Norris made in the neighborhood of 12 catches for 150 yards. Lindsey said the 2002 season will see more of Norris' pass catching skills utilized.
Summer camps are in the works for Norris, but Lindsey says there are no firm plans as of yet.