Norman Wants More Sacks

RALEIGH, N.C. -- College coaches want their defensive ends to be able to pressure the quarterback. In two seasons, NC State junior Art Norman has proven he is more than capable of doing that.

College coaches want their defensive ends to be able to pressure the quarterback. In two seasons, NC State standout Art Norman has proven he is more than capable of doing that.

At 6-foot and 250 pounds, Norman may not have prototypical size, but his long arms and explosive first step creates problems for opposing offensive tackles.

He has already totaled 12.5 sacks for his career, and he had 5.5 last season, despite coming off the bench in eight games. What is even more impressive about Norman is how many times he's pressured the quarterback. In 2012 he totaled 28 quarterback pressures, and in 2011 his 30 were more than double any Pack defender.

58 quarterback pressures and 12.5 sacks... yes, Norman can rush the passer.

"I want to cut down on those hurries and get more sacks this season," he said, laughing.

What he also wants to do is be more multi-dimensional. Because of his size, he can, at times, struggle against the running game, and he is often used as a situational pass-rusher.

While he wants to be more versatile, Norman also acknowledges that he wants to do what is best for the team.

"That's a big thing for me," he said. "I want to be more than just a speed-rusher. I want to focus on the running game, but at the end of the day I'm going to do whatever it takes to help the team. If that means getting after the quarterback, that's what I'll do."

How is Norman improving? Well, he says he is becoming a better player due to the coaching he is receiving from first-year defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen.

"He's intense, and I love it," said Norman. "He's detailed on everything. Things you'd never think of, like how close you are to the ball, he's very detailed. Things that didn't seem big, they matter to him. He's going to help all of us in the long run because if you focus on those areas you'll be a better fundamental player.

"He expects great things from us and I do too."

Nielsen is working with arguably NC State's most experienced position group. Norman, Darryl Cato-Bishop, Thomas Teal, and T.Y. McGill all have starting experience and reserves Forest West, A.J. Ferguson, K'Hadree Hooker, and Mike Rose are quality contributors and the redshirt junior believes this group could lead the team.

"I feel like there is no drop-off when the backups come in," said Norman. "That's why I think we can have a great year. It's the same level, the same intensity, and we have great competition right now.

"I believe that the defensive line leads the team because a sack or a TFL can change the momentum. We are the only guys that can get one of those on eery play. I know it matters to me and everyone else on the line."

As for the 2013 season, Norman has high expectations for the Wolfpack.

"The expectations are set very high," he said. "The coaches have high expectations and so do we."


Pack Pride Top Stories