SEC vs. Big 12 Battle For Defensive Line Prospect

Eric Norwood

This talented defensive line prospect from the state of Georgia, who has been interested in the Tigers, is also looking at a college out of the region.

Kennesaw, Ga.--Eric Norwood, a quick and athletic defensive lineman from North Cobb High School who was a standout at two Auburn camps this summer, has listed Auburn as his favorite college for some time, but the Tigers will have some competition for his signature from at least one team in the Big 12.

The 6-0, 1/2 , 251-pound lineman not only lived in Mesquite, Texas for seven years, but his friend is still there and recently committed to a Big 12 college. "Yeah, my best friend Al'Darius Thompson, he committed to Oklahoma State," Norwood explains. "Then, that next day I sent them my tape and they offered me like the next week."

Norwood adds that he has been familiar with the Cowboys program for some time. "Yeah, when Les Miles was there they were recruiting me and after Les Miles left (for LSU) it was like all of the recruiting just stopped," he continues. "But I mean I had been trying to call them after he left because I used to watch them a lot when I stayed in Mesquite."

Eric Norwood is one of the more talented senior prospects in the state of Georgia.

Still, despite his ties to Big 12 country, Norwood notes that the Tigers are still number one. "I mean right now, you know, Auburn is my leader," he tells Inside The Auburn Tigers "That is a school that has been recruiting me since day one. I know what Auburn is like. I know what the city is like and everything.

"But, at Oklahoma State the opportunity for playing time up there and getting to play with my best friend, that is what stands out to me about Oklahoma State," Norwood adds.

On a trip to Auburn over the weekend to check out the Tigers' second scrimmage of the fall, Norwood says he finally got to meet and talk with Auburn's head coach Tommy Tuberville, who was not able to attend the senior mini-camp due to a conflicting engagement to receive a national coach of the year honor.

"He seemed like a real down to earth guy, a guy that doesn't really beat around the bush about everything, like what they need and what they are trying to get," he explains about Tuberville. "We talked about when I plan on making a decision and things like that, but he is not trying to pressure me they just have a limited number of scholarships and things like that."

Norwood adds that knowing the Tigers are short on scholarship slots for the 2006 class is making him think a lot harder about his college choice and his timetable for making that decision. "I would commit a little earlier, but I have just got to see a couple of other schools," he says. "I am not going to take that many trips. I am going to take a trip to Oklahoma State and I might take one to Arkansas. Those are the three main schools that I have, really, high interest in."

He adds that he already has a couple of those trips set up, including one to Auburn. "I know I am coming to Auburn on September 3rd for the Georgia Tech game," he notes. "I have also got a visit to Oklahoma State set up for when they play Texas."

Along with thinking about recruiting, Norwood is also getting ready for his senior season at North Cobb and he says he has some team oriented goals for the year. "I want to beat Harrison, beat McEachern, win the region and go to state," he says emphatically.

To get ready for those goals, he and his teammates have already played two practice games prior to their season opener this Friday at Kell high school, and the athletic defensive tackle says he has gotten off to a very good start personally.

"We have had two scrimmages the last two weeks," he explains. "Our first scrimmage we lost 19-17. We lost on a field goal. I had a pretty good game that game. I had 10 tackles and four sacks that game, and last week we had a game against Lassiter High School. We played Lassiter and they were an option team and we had never played them before, but I had 11 tackles and seven tackles for a loss that game."

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