One of the biggest prospects Tennessee went after in the last recruiting cycle was five-star cornerback Adoreé Jackson out of California. While many believed the Vols positioned themselves well in their pursuit of the do-everything stud, Jackson decided to stay close to home and play for Southern Cal.
Tennessee will do everything it can to avoid a similar outcome with Serra High School cornerback Stanley "Scrappy" Norman.
According to the Scout four-star prospect, the Vols staff has forged a valuable connection with him so far in the recruiting process.
“I like the vibe I get from the (Tennessee) coaches,” Scout’s No. 18 cornerback and No. 132 overall player for 2015 told InsideTennessee. "We just got a good understanding about what I want to do at the next level, and I just feel good about that."
The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder mentioned there “weren’t really” any particular coaches leading his recruitment right now, but insisted that “every time” he meets a new Vols staff member there is a “good vibe.”
Tennessee’s interest in the corner is completely warranted. Though rated by Scout primarily as a cornerback, Norman says he is able to flourish on either side of the ball.
“I think my versatility and my competitiveness would help Tennessee a lot. I feel like my hard work and, I don’t know, I just feel like the way I compete could help Tennessee a lot in the end,” Norman told IT.
“I feel like me trying to play both ways at the next level, if Tennessee gave me the opportunity to do that, could put them in a better situation to win games. … that’s a big way to help a team out, just doing whatever I’m needed to and just being a shutdown cornerback and at the same time being a big-time playmaker on offense.”
While many schools have noticed the abilities of the Gardena, Ca., prospect, Norman says the Vols have as realistic a shot as any other school to earn his services.
“I don’t know,” Norman said when asked which schools stuck out to him the most.
“(Tennessee) at the top though, they with the top group. … the picture that I have coming together, just, I feel like Tennessee is in it.”
"I think my versatility and my competitiveness would help Tennessee a lot." — Stanley Norman
As with any top prospect — particularly one located at the opposite side of the country — there will be plenty of suitors lined up. California's No. 4-rated cornerback mentioned a handful of other programs that has his interest. Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oklahoma, UCLA, and Washington all have the four-star’s attention.
However, outside of Tennessee, there is something the other schools couldn’t offer the top-20 cornerback. And it’s something he’d be very excited for.
“Oh yeah, always, I’m always looking for the competition,” Norman said about the the possibility of playing in the Southeastern Conference.
“So playing in the SEC, I just look forward to big games like that. … I look forward to playing in a lot of big games in the future.”
Norman says he wants to “wait it out a little longer” before disclosing an official top group of schools.His plans to stop by Rocky Top have been postponed for the summer, but he says he could see the Vols receiving an official visit during the fall.