On Friday night, the Florida Gators picked up a transfer defensive lineman in Cam’Ron Jackson but the coaching staff also signed five linemen in the 2023 class.
One of them was defensive lineman Will Norman (6-5, 290, Camden, NJ. Eastside) who stuck with the Gators despite a late push from several other big-name schools.
“From a recruiting standing point, Deion [Sanders] and his staff were definitely on me heavy,” Norman said on schools who pushed for him late. “As well as Texas A&M, Florida State, and LSU but what kept me going and kept me locked in with Florida was just the message stayed the same. It stayed consistent and that was important to me.”
One of the big reasons why Norman ended up in Gainesville was his relationship with defensive line coach Sean Spencer which dates back to Norman’s freshman year in high school.
“I like to share this story but before I went to IMG, me and Coach Spence had a phone call when he was at the New York Giants at the time,” he said on his relationship with Spencer. “I’m not even at IMG yet and he’s giving me advice on what to look for when I go to IMG. I just like to say that he’s that genuine of a guy. Just him being down to earth as he was talking to a high school kid while he was coaching at the highest level.”
Spencer and defensive coordinator Patrick Toney have talked to Norman about just where he will play once he gets to Gainesville.
“They actually like me on the outside with my size,” Norman said on where Spencer wants him to play. “They like how I move, and they mention the outside a lot and I use to think it was funny but when I back home and went back on the outside, I started to see what they saw. His message has been to stay versatile because I’m not a defensive lineman that’s strictly a nose guard or 3-tech.”
Norman like the rest of the defensive line group will have a chance to play as a freshman and Norman believes it’s all about hitting the playbook for him.
“I don’t think it’s the body for me but it’s the IQ and the mental part,” he said on what he needs to work on to play early. “I think it’s always about getting smarter and always keeping your heads in the book. Just keep getting smarter with the game.”
The defensive line group is one that has built a solid bond and the coaching staff relied on Norman and another signee to lead the class.
“They kept saying that me and Kelby [Collins] were the glue factors,” Norman said on the bond with the other commits. “That kind of meant a lot to me, we definitely have a bond and a connection, and we grew with the staff.”