One of the Florida Gators top targets remaining in the class of 2015 is defensive tackle Kendrick Norton (6-2, 292, Jacksonville, FL Trinity Christian). In the past Norton has said that Florida and Miami were his top two schools but he says that isn’t the case anymore.
“Florida isn’t out of it but they aren’t in it as strong as they were,” Norton said. “I don’t think Florida would be in my top 5 right now.”
Norton hasn’t met new Gators coach Jim McElwain or defensive coordinator Geoff Collins yet but he has spoken to them on the phone and the message was simple.
“I’ve spoken with the new Florida coaches a few times,” Norton said. “They just tell me that nothing has really fallen off from Florida’s team except that Coach [Will] Muschamp isn’t there anymore. Coach McElwain said he still wants me at Florida.”
One thing is for sure is that McElwain and Collins are recruiting Norton at defensive tackle and that’s something that Collins has told him personally.
“I talked to Coach Collins since he’s been at Florida,” Norton said. “He’s still talking to me about playing defense for Florida under him. I don’t plan on playing offense in college unless it’s a last resort and I can’t get on the field on defense. I’m going to college to play defense.”
Norton who really liked Will Muschamp’s defensive scheme says that he hasn’t researched Collins’ scheme yet but that he’s interested in learning about the Gators new style of defense.
“I haven’t really talked to him much about defensive schemes yet,” Norton said. “We only had a brief 5 minute recruiting call so I haven’t gotten to sit down with him and talk about schemes yet.”
Collins will have a chance to meet Norton in-person in January as the defensive tackle is planning to visit Florida.
“I want to go up there and meet those new guys and talk to them,” Norton said. “I’ll try to squeeze some time in there to get up there and meet with those guys.”
One thing is for sure is that Norton has a lot of thinking to do about his college decision and he only has a little over a month to do so.
“I plan to make my final decision on national signing day,” Norton said. “I’m looking for where I’m comfortable at and where I can play early at because I’m trying to play early. It would be fine to redshirt but I would like to play early.”
INSIDERS TAKE: I still believe Florida and Miami are Norton’s top two schools and the Gators have a great shot here despite what Norton is saying. Florida does need to get Norton on campus to meet defensive coordinator Geoff Collins.