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July 25, 2005There is nothing like the commitment of a big-time quarterback to draw other recruits to a particular school - usually receivers - but that could be the case for Acworth (Ga.) defender Eric Norwood.
After the Arkansas Seniors Only Camp, Norwood, 6-foot-1, 241 pounds, was asked where Arkansas stands now that he has been to Fayetteville (Ark.) for the first time.
"Man, I guess they're number one," Norwood said after the camp.
Norwood altered that statement later in this interview, but the Razorbacks' chances have greatly improved, nonetheless. His experience at the camp and the possibility that Arkansas could land the nation's No. 1 quarterback prospect, Mitch Mustain of Springdale (Ark.), could seal the deal for Norwood.
"[I'd like to commit] preferably after Mitch Mustain makes his," Norwood said. "He's just a real good quarterback. Even if he doesn't [go to Arkansas], I'll probably still most likely. Well, I won't say Arkansas' first, I'd say Arkansas and Auburn are tied. I really like Arkansas.
"Probably the next day after."
Needless to say, Norwood enjoyed the two-day camp. He could play middle linebacker or defensive end on the next level. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds, and he may even grow into a defensive tackle. He has the frame for it.
"I liked it," he said. "I really liked it. It was a great camp, and there was some great competition. I played against some of the top guys up here - offense, defense. I just competed well.
"The facilities, the coaches, the players, coach Rocker's a real down-to-earth guy."
Like most prospects who visit Fayetteville for the first time, Arkansas' new, state-of-the-art facilities stand out to them.
"This is more than I expected," Norwood said prior to the start of the camp. "It's better than some of the other places I've been. I've been down to Miami - not for camp - Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, that's it. It's the top, it's the top - definitely."
Norwood has a 365-pound bench press max and a 430-pound squat. He was laser-timed in 4.93 seconds at the NIKE Training Camp in Athens (Ga.). He earned all-county as a freshman, sophomore and junior. Last season he registered 77 tackles and 7 sacks while playing 10 games. Rivals.com rates him the No. 54 overall prospect in the Peach State for 2006.
Norwood boasts scholarship offers from Arkansas, Auburn, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Wake Forest, Memphis, Boston College, Baylor, Middle Tennessee State and others.
Prospect Video: Norwood is big and bad
Rivals.com Rankings: Georgia Top 75
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