All-State LB Jared Norton Commits To Texas

Rowlett HS LB Jared Norton became the 18th commitment to the UT Class of 2006 Sunday. The hard-hitting LB was receiving attention from schools across the country, but he decided that Texas was the place for him. He discussed his commitment to the Longhorn Program with Inside Texas Sunday evening.

Jared Norton, who has garnered recognition in both the Texas Hot 100 and the Southwest Hot 100, became the Horns' third linebacker commitment and 18th commitment overall for the Class of 2006 Sunday. The Rowlett star committed to Texas at the first Longhorn camp of the summer. "The camp went great," he said. "There was so much talent on the field that I can't really name just one player that stood out. Everyone was impressive."

The 6-2, 220-pound Norton committed to Texas Head Coach Mack Brown and Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Kennedy at the same time. "I didn't really commit to just one coach," he said. "Coach Kennedy and Coach Brown were there when I committed and I told them, 'I'm done. I'm ready to be a Longhorn. I feel solid enough about Texas to commit right now.'"

There are a few reasons why Norton chose UT as his school. "I love the city of Austin," he said. "I love the location of the school, the coaching staff, and the players. It's a perfect fit for me. I wanted a school with good academics and a good football tradition and Texas has both of those qualifications."

The All-State LB was mainly recruited by Kennedy, with an assist to new DC/LB coach Gene Chizik. "Coach Kennedy was my recruiting coordinator," he said. "He's a great guy and very persistent. He showed a lot of interest in me."

Norton had offers from 18 different schools. "I was offered by Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Iowa State, Notre Dame, Purdue, Arizona, Arkansas, Nebraska, Utah, North Carolina, Mississippi State, Alabama, and LSU," he said. "I had plans on going to Texas A&M for a camp, but I'm not going now. I'm done camping. Texas is my school."

Does Norton feel that he's a solid or a soft verbal? "I'm a solid verbal," he said. "I've made my decision. Texas is my school and I'm not changing it. Texas will also be my only official visit unless something strange happens."

Last season, Norton racked up 131 tackles, 16 of those being for a loss, 6 sacks, 1 blocked FG, and 6 caused fumbles on his way to an All-State Honorable Mention season. He also was First Team All-District. He and his Rowlett HS teammates finished with a 5-5 record last season in the rugged Texas 5A Classification. "This season I hope to lead us to the state playoffs," he said. "If we can make the state playoffs then I will consider it a successful season." As for personal goals, Norton wants to break the district record for tackles. "My personal goal is to break the district record for tackles," he said. "The record is 156 and I know I can break that record. That record is just counted in the regular season, not included in state playoffs."

As Norton heads into his senior season at Rowlett HS, the future Longhorn will only see his stock continue to soar, but like he said, Texas is his school.

Norton carries a GPA of 3.4 and an ACT score of 17.

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