UCLA Gets Verbal From NorCal Athlete

A track athlete who played only two seasons of organized football, a prospect from Northern California translates that into Pac-10 offers and a commitment to UCLA...

It took just two years of playing organized football for Oakland (Calif.) Skyline athlete Michael Norris, 5-10, 175, to translate that into a future.

The speedy cornerback/receiver committed to UCLA following his trip last weekend, but made it official this week.

"I told the coaches at the end of the trip that I was coming, but I wanted to talk with my parents then make it official. I had no idea that playing football would turn into a scholarship for me. I was just trying to win some games, but it all worked out real good for me," said Norris.

Norris had offers from Oregon, Arizona State, Washington State, UNLV and Nebraska, in addition to UCLA.

"Coach (Jon) Embree was the coach who first started recruiting me, then Coach (Larry) Kerr came along towards the end and visited my house. I also got to meet Coach (Karl) Dorrell on my trip and I really like him. He has a good philosophy and I think the team will be successful under him."

Norris will join former Skyline teammate William Snead, who redshirted this past season.

"William was my host on my trip down there. Having him down there will make the transition a lot easier for me. We were already real good friends before he went down there, and now we can hang out again," said Norris. "He talked with me about how to get adjusted and getting ready to play and go to school. It's cool."

Norris had an impressive senior year, on both sides of the ball, earning all-Oakland honors.

"On offense, I had about 30 catches for around 1,000 yards and 21 touchdowns. On defense, I had 8 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and 3 recoveries. I had 3 touchdowns on defense," said Norris, who also returned punts and kickoffs.

Norris is also a gifted track sprinter, and has thought about doing track in college.

"I'm not sure if I will do it, but it will depend on how I am juggling football and school."

Holding a 3.5 GPA and easily qualifying SAT score, Norris is looking at majoring in something in the pre-Med field.

"I want to be a doctor and UCLA is a great place for that to happen. It's a great college, the best in the nation, and I looked at it more than from a football look, but as an academic standpoint. I talked with my family about it and I know the importance of a great academic school for me. That's what I liked about UCLA the most."


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