During our conversation with Norris the first thing that jumps out at you is how engaging the young man is. His manners are impeccable and genuine. He's also assertive with his statements. Norris at the beginning of the season was on the other side of the ball. "I started the year playing linebacker and I sprained my ankle and missed 1 or 2 games." Before long Norris missed 4 games. It's what he did in his return to the field that jumpstarted things for him.
"My first game starting at running back was probably my best game. It was against Mauldin. I had 17 carries and rushed for 177 yards and 2 touchdowns. I just came out and showed the coaches what I could do. It brought a lot of attention for me." On the season Norris had 121 carries for 900 yards and 13 touchdowns. Keep in mind that Norris missed 4 games and also split time at running back with Brandon Williams.
Having made a big impact last season as sophomore Norris hopes to stay injury free and have more carries this upcoming season. We asked Norris what goals he'd set for himself and his team next year. "Personally myself I'd like to at least get 1200 yards and score more touchdowns. For the team I hope we come out and play our best and hopefully win a state title. I want everybody to get closer and get to know one another better and hopefully things will work out for us."
Folks in Anderson County know of the biggest rivalry in town and Norris testified to that battle. "Yeah when it comes to the rivalry game it would have to be Westside for us. The other game I look forward to would be Greenwood because we haven't beaten them since I've been at T.L. Hanna or even before I got there that I can remember. Me and some of those Greenwood guys are family. Some of us play AAU basketball together too and we talk all the time."
While Norris looks forward to those games next year he says there is one player that he's glad he won't be seeing anymore on the high school level. Asked what player was the toughest he's ever faced he quickly replied, "J.B. Shippy of Gaffney. He's a hard hitter and he is everywhere on the field. You gotta watch for him when you run the ball against them."
Some colleges have already started the recruiting process with Ladarius and he shared the early suitors with us. "I'm hearing from North Carolina State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Charleston Southern, and Furman." The Tigers of Clemson being right around the corner have pushed harder than everyone else at this point in the process. "Yeah Clemson is recruiting me the hardest. They send me a lot of mail and I get into all of the home games for free." At this point Norris doesn't have any offers but he's hoping to change that this coming season he says.
Norris has an early list of favorite schools that he told us of as well. "Clemson, Virginia, West Virginia, Southern California, and Notre Dame are my early favorites. I'm wide open to anybody who wants to recruit me though." Given the fact that Norris is 6'1 205 pounds and simply blazes the 40 yard dash in a blistering 4.46 time it won't be long before he starts hearing from all of the aforementioned schools on a more regular basis. Education and conference strength will be the two biggest factors for Norris at this point in time concerning his final decision.
SCPrepNation.com will have more updates on Ladarius Norris as he works hard to make a name for himself as one of 2010's brightest prospects in the Palmetto State.
Inside The Numbers...Ladarius Norris
Bench press: 235 pounds
Squat: 415 pounds
40 yard dash: 4.46 seconds
Up Close & Personal...Ladarius Norris
Favorite music artists: Jay-Z, Li'l Wayne, and R.Kelly
Favorite movie: Friday Night Lights
Favorite food: chicken
Favorite subject in school: math
Favorite thing to do when not playing football or at school: I'm always trying to find something to do to get better at football
Favorite football players: I grew up liking Rafael Little and this guy I knew named "Prime Time" Ameer Salahudin at the rec center. (both former T.L. Hanna stars and UK players) I love Reggie Bush.
Dream school: Would have to be Clemson.